The Coldest War: Svalbard's Risk of Russian Annexation
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CitationVlasman, Savannah. 2019. The Coldest War: Svalbard's Risk of Russian Annexation. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractSvalbard is a remote Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, home to the northernmost permanent human settlement. This paper investigates Russia’s imperialistic interest in Svalbard and examines the likelihood of Russia annexing Svalbard in the near future. The examination reveals Svalbard is particularly vulnerable at present due to melting sea ice, rising oil prices, and escalating tension between Russia and the West. Through analyzing the past and present of Svalbard, Russia’s interests in the territory, and the details of the Svalbard Treaty, it became evident that a Russian annexation is plausible if not probable. An assessment of Russia’s actions in annexing Crimea, as well as their legal justifications, reveals that these same arguments could be used in annexing Svalbard. This paper goes on to examine the circumstances under which Russia may annex Svalbard. Suggestions for maintaining peace include clarifying the terms of the Svalbard Treaty, Norwegian cessation of selling sea blocks for drilling, and a Svalbard promotional campaign.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004069