Photo: Maria Varteressian

Changes in the Arctic Security Landscape


Tuesday 28 August, 2018



Wednesday 29 August, 2018


Framsenteret, Hjalmar Johansens gate, Tromsø, Norway


Organised by Arctic Frontiers, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The strategic value of the Arctic remains high, as the region provides various geo-economic benefits and geo-strategic advantages. Development in the security architecture of the Arctic can have direct effect on the rest of the world. Cooperation between Arctic and non-Arctic states is therefore vital in order to promote stability.

This seminar will focus on current and future security challenges in the Arctic region as well as on the question of how cooperation between Arctic and non-Arctic European and Asian states can be strengthened in a sustainable way. These topics will be addressed in two expert discussions, which will be attended by around 20 professionals from Europe and Canada.

Main questions to be addressed:

  1. What’s the place of the Arctic in EU/NATO-Russia political, economic and security relations?
  2. Can changes in the Arctic security architecture lessen conflict elsewhere?
  3. To what extend can Arctic geoeconomical and geostrategic dialogue between Arctic and non-Arctic countries be improved and strengthened?
  4. How does Russian Greater Eurasian and Chinese Belt-and-Road Initiative geoeconomic strategy affect the interests of the other Arctic states and Europe?


Tuesday, 28 August

19:00 Welcome Dinner, Restaurant: TBA  with keynote address

Wednesday, 29 August

Venue: FRAM – High North Research Centre

09:00 Opening Remarks Elisabeth Bauer, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Nordic Countries Project) and Rasmus Gjerdssø Bertelsen, University of Tromsø

09:15 Roundtable I: The Status Quo – Current Topics and Security Challenges in the Arctic Region

The strategic value of the Arctic region is increasing since the region has the potential to provide various natural riches and economic benefits. However, the wealth of the region brings with it also a potential threat for the security situation in the North Atlantic. NATO has declared to strengthen its comprehensive awareness in the region whereas Russia continues to modernize its Northern Fleet. Which security challenges are most pressing in the region and is a direct confrontation between Russia and the West likely to happen? Which approach should NATO and EU have in order to exhibit strength but avoid confrontation?

Introductory remarks: TBC

Moderator: Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Professor, Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø

11:15 Coffee break

11:45 Roundtable II: Strengthening the cooperation between Arctic and non-Arctic countries

Many states have specific political, strategic or economic interests in the Arctic region. These developments include Arctic and Non-Arctic states such as China and others. To avoid misunderstandings or conflicts, cooperation and coordination of one’s efforts should be a priority on the agenda. To what extend can security cooperation between Arctic and non-Arctic states be improved and strengthened in a sustainable way? Which institutions can set a framework of this cooperation? Are the already existing frameworks sufficient or is a new approach needed?

Introductory remarks: Svein Vigeland Rottem, Senior Research Fellow, Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Moderator: TBA

13:45 Lunch Restaurant: TBA

14:00 Departure if required

15:00 Visit to Arctic Institution in Tromsø

18:00 Dinner Restaurant: TBA with keynote address

Thursday, 30 August

Departure of remaining participants



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