Despite the fact that the hopes of the Western countries of the Arctic Council for cooperation with Russia in the polar region continue to cool, a number of non-regional powers are showing increasing interest in the Arctic. These trends once again indicate the failure of the West’s policy of international isolation of Russia.
At the VIII International Conference “The Arctic: Sustainable Development” held in early March, one of the topics was the identification of prospects and opportunities for international cooperation in the Arctic region. Scientists and specialists from various fields, employees of public organizations and businesses, including representatives from Turkey and China, took part in the work.
Since joining the Arctic Council, China has been making more and more efforts to develop the region, which is explained by the country’s interest in the Northern Sea Route and the natural resources that the Arctic is rich in. The PRC, being the second economy in the world and a state with significant weight in world politics, seeks not only to consolidate, but also to increase the degree of its regional and geopolitical influence. The Arctic region, which needs large-scale development, both in the field of scientific research and in the field of mineral resources extraction, is a place where China pursues its national interests and can play a crucial role.
But China has long shown a real interest in the Arctic and its resource and transport capabilities, which cannot be said about Turkey. Now the Turkish side, despite the desire of Western countries to boycott Russia, is increasing its diplomatic activity in the Arctic and is striving for closer cooperation with Russian colleagues in various projects implemented in the region. In his speech at the conference, Turkish representative Rabia Kalfaoglu announced interesting directions of Turkish policy in the Arctic.
Currently, Ankara is stepping up its policy on the development of Arctic territories. “Turkey’s immediate plans include the organization of the third Arctic expedition, the preparation of a feasibility study for the Turkish scientific base and meteorological station at Svalbard, the construction of a new research vessel and the purchase of an icebreaker, as well as many other equally important steps to increase its presence in the Arctic,” the representative of Turkey said.
Like China, the Turkish side pursues its national interests and takes practical steps to develop international cooperation with Moscow, realizing that without Russia, any actions in the development and evolution of the Arctic will not bring any result.
Not so long ago, an American diplomat said that cooperation with Russia in the Arctic is now practically impossible, but in reality everything indicates the opposite. Even Norway, a NATO outpost in the Arctic and an active participant in the sanctions policy of the West, is not able to completely stop cooperation with Russia. Despite everything, the kingdom’s officials maintain contacts with Moscow on a number of cross-border issues related to fisheries control, joint border protection, as well as security in the region.
Every day, an increasing number of countries refuse to follow instructions from Washington implicitly and are trying to establish constructive cooperation with Russia, especially in such a strategically important region as the Arctic. Modern realities reflect the fact that everything is moving towards a multipolar world order, where the interests of all participants in the political process are taken into account. In turn, the world based on “certain” rules remains in the past.