Abstract. The Arctic is clearly not a recently discovered region for the discipline of international relations; its geopolitical value is extremely well acknowledged by a certain number of research efforts. Especially during the Cold War era, it was one of the very few regions that facilitated direct contact between the superpowers of that era: the United States of America (USA) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). As a result, it was also the epicenter of numerous geostrategic analyses. It is true that with the Soviet collapse the focus of both military analysts and academics shifted towards various other regions of the world. But, during the first decade of the new millennium, their attention was shifted again back towards the region under discussion, when the United States Geological Survey (USGS) formally declared the Arctic Ocean as a new ”hot-spot” for energy resources. The specific agency provided estimates that nearly one quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas deposits are located in the wider Arctic region. Various studies have already been conducted in relation to the potential of the oil and natural gas production in the Arctic; motivations and obstacles associated with these multi-complex and high risk exploration activities are also extensively analyzed. In a different approach from the existing general literature on the Artic and through the prism of the theory of geopolitical realism, the National Arctic Strategies of both USA and the Russian Federation (RF), these two very important actors in Arctic affairs, will be examined. Furthermore, the multi-complex influence of the Arctic region upon the contemporary energy security paradigm will also be highlighted.
Key words: Arctic, USA, RF, Energy Security, Realism, Geopolitics
* Ph.D., Post-Doc Researcher in the World Maritime University (WMU) – Lieutenant in the Turkish Navy
** Assistant Professor (Safety & Security) in the World Maritime University (WMU)
The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is a postgraduate maritime university founded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Established by an IMO Assembly Resolution in 1983, the aim of WMU is to further enhance the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO member states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans.