Russia uses UNCLOS as basis for its foreign policy in Arctic
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Foreign Policy. In seeking to establish the Arctic as a “zone of peace and cooperation,” the Russian Arctic policy emphasizes mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral cooperation among Russia and other Arctic states on the basis of in- ternational treaties and agreements to which Russia is a party. Underlying all Russian policies toward the Arctic is support for regional collaboration in the Arctic and commitment to UNCLOS and multilateral organizations and approaches, including the International Maritime Organization, the Arctic Council, and the five Arctic coastal states, who met in Ilulissat, Greenland, in 2008 to issue their declaration on management of the Arctic. The key foreign policy point in the Ilulissat Declaration—that the Arctic coastal states will resolve disputes peacefully in line with the law of the sea—is consistent with the Russian Arctic policy.22
Tension between Russia and other Arctic nations will remain high as they continue to compete for Arctic territory. Maintaining UNCLOS as a viable legal framework for settling Arctic territorial claims should help avert potential confrontations between Russia and other UNCLOS members.