Existing legal framework is more than adequate to govern Arctic disputes
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In sum, UNCLOS and a wide range of complementary international agreements and organizations provide a legal framework for the issues we face—or soon will face—in the Arctic. That is not to say the existing framework provides clear or robust rules for every situation. Nor can it guarantee that any state—Russia, the United States, or any other—will always conduct itself in a manner that lives up to international standards. But the framework provides an adequate starting point, and it should also remind us that “new” challenges facing the Arctic are not necessarily unique or unfamiliar. Many of these issues—from drawing maritime borders to promoting safe navigation to protecting the marine environment— are quintessential law of the sea issues to which international policymakers bring a wealth of experience.