In this paper, we analyze the intersections of legal and political dispute resolution methods in Arctic territorial disputes involving Russia and several Western governments, including Canada and the United States. There are two current disputes. The first dispute concentrates on the Lomonosov Ridge, a geological feature that runs near the North Pole and has been used by three states to claim the North Pole as part of their continental shelf. The second dispute deals with the legal status of the Northern Sea Route. Our paper evaluates the tradeoffs between the legal and political constraints in these disputes between Russia and the West, and considers the possible methods of dispute settlement. In the paper, we suggest that the resolution of Arctic conflicts is likely to include a set of legal-political equilibria, such as international adjudication, voluntary mediation, and intergovernmental regulation. The Lomonosov Ridge dispute is likely to be resolved by voluntary mediation through a voluntary conciliation procedure coupled with the political support of Russia, Denmark, and Canada. However, the Northern Sea Route dispute is likely to be addressed by intergovernmental regulation because Russia’s argument on coastal jurisdiction is opposed by that of the United States on international waters and the right to free navigation.
Tania Röttger and Theocharis N. Grigoriadis,
Arctic Conflicts & Russian Foreign Policy,
Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/gjicl/vol50/iss1/2