Riga Security Conference, Sept 14-15 2012: Highlighting Arctic Resources and Regional Security in the Company of Artur Chilingarov

 Arctic Forum Foundation Secretary General Steffen Weber joined The Riga Conference 2012 as part of a panel discussion on Arctic resources and security in the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions moderated by Mr. Andreas Klein, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Representative to the Baltic States. Joined by Prof. Nikita Lomagin, Deputy Head of World Economy Department, Faculty of Economics St.Petersburg State University, Ambassador Gustaf Lind, Swedish Ambassador for the Arctic and Ms. Alyson Bailes, Visiting Professor, University of Iceland in Reykjavik, the panel discussed the increasing geopolitical risks associated with dramatic climate change and the relative effect it may have on arctic regional security.  There to present the Russian viewpoint was none other than Artur Chilingarov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for international cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Amid talk of the formation of a “mini-NATO” to safeguard Arctic natural resource interests and the potential inclusion of Russia into such a security network, Mr. Chilingarov emphasized the fact that the Cold War is no longer, and that today’s Russia is much more open than in the past – particularly as it concerns the hunt for investment partners.

Night Owl Session: Arctic Resoruces, Regional Security in the North and Baltic Sea.
Dr. Arthur Chillingarov, Steffen Weber, Secreatary General AFF, Prof. Allyson Bailes, Prof. Nikita Lomagin and Amb. Gustav Lind.
Photo: Valdis Kaulins, Riga Conference.

Also taking part in the discussion was Norwegian Minister of Defense (and current Minister of Foreign Affairs) Espen Barth Eide. The defense minister assured those in attendance that he “doesn’t feel threatened” when other countries invest in military and technical infrastructure in the Arctic region.  At the end of the day, said Minister Eide, everyone is more or less on the same page when it comes to preserving the Arctic.

The tone of the discussion was very harmonmious, with the general consensus revealing that with the very low probability of open conflict, any tensions can be resolved in time in the interest of opening the way for future investment.

Video highlights from The Riga Conference can be viewed here.

Written by Stephen Perry
Research Fellow AFF




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