Diplomacy at the Top of the World

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

August 26, 2015

On August 31, in Anchorage, Alaska, the U.S. will convene foreign ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic states to discuss climate change and other topics concerning the region. According to an opinion piece in Project Syndicate, co-authored by Ross Virginia, Director of the Institute of Artic Studies, it is important that disagreements such as Iran's nuclear program and the conflict in Ukraine not derail discussions about the Arctic, where cooperation between Russia and the West has been the norm.

"Since April, we have spoken with Russian officials and academics, as well as officials from several other Arctic Council member states. In these discussions, all parties affirmed their readiness to cooperate regarding the Arctic. But they also underscored the risks to this hoped-for cooperation if external issues are permitted to intrude into the conversation," write Virginia and his co-authors, James Collins, senior associate of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former US Ambassador to Russia, and Kenneth Yalowitz, Director of the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University, a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow, and former US Ambassador to Belarus and Georgia. Ambassador Yalowitz was a former Director of the Dickey Center where he is a Senior Arctic Fellow. 

Read the entire article online at Project Syndicate.

Reprinted in Arctic Journal.

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