Arctic nations are only cooperating through international institutions out of political convenience
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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.