Arctic nations are only cooperating through international institutions out of political convenience
While it is undeniable that the Arctic states are using international institutions focused on Arctic issues, they appear to do so out of political convenience—not out of a commitment to peaceful cooperation. The participating nations all actively pursue a combined environmental and safety agenda with their partners through the Arctic Council. Its charter, however, explicitly bans the organization from discussing issues related to military security, a point reinforced by the Ilulissat Declaration of the five Arctic states: that is, no legal enforcement regime other than the UNCLOS is needed in the region.216
To that end, the UNCLOS does indeed provide conflict resolution mechanisms for territorial disputes and continental shelf claims, but Russia exempted itself from discussing such matters in UNCLOS fora when it acceded to the Convention. Moreover, while the United States continues to observe the UNCLOS as customary international law, it remains outside the Convention and is unable and unwilling to use its dispute resolution mechanisms.
Related argument(s) where this quote is used.
Strategic environment and level of cooperation between Russia and the United States in the Arctic will be based on the state of their bilateral relations in general, and not on the U.S. decision of whether or not to ratify the UN Law of the Sea.Related Quotes:
- US ratification of UNCLOS will not boost capacity to challenge Russian claims, disputes likely to be resolved outside of convention
- Russia will defend its claims in the Arctic but is unlikely to resort to military means
- Bilateral relations between U.S. and Russia will be more important to Arctic security than U.S. non-party status to UNCLOS
- Russia has effectively removed option of resolving border disputes through UNCLOS in its signing statements under Article 298
- No major disagreement over ECS claims between U.S. and Russia
- Arctic nations are only cooperating through international institutions out of political convenience