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From conflictual to cooperative approaches in Russian foreign policy – an examination of the Barents Sea Boundary Agreement

From conflictual to cooperative approaches in Russian foreign policy – an examination of the Barents Sea Boundary Agreement

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This paper aims to analyse Norwegian-Russian relations during the presidency of Dmitrii Medvedev from 2008 to 2012, with a particular focus on the main dispute between the two countries the last decades: the Barents Sea with respect to the 2010 Boundary Treaty. This paper is structured as follows. While it is outside the scope of this article to discuss the multitude of organisations, agreements and treaties governing the Euro-Arctic region, a brief survey of the organisations covering the Barents area is presented in a first section. Then a section on developments in Russian foreign policy and the Medvedev presidency follows. The paper sheds light on Russia’s economic and geopolitical interests in the Barents region. Doing so, it argues that the signing of the Treaty can be seen as an example of a change in Russian foreign policy under Medvedev to a more accommodating course with the West. The successful dispute settlement concerning the boundary delimitation was an illustration thereof, through peaceful negotiations based on international laws. As the focus is on the foreign policy of Russia, it will only briefly cover domestic factors in Russia and Norwegian foreign policy as factors contributing to the dispute resolution.

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Grøholt, E., (2016) “From conflictual to cooperative approaches in Russian foreign policy – an examination of the Barents Sea Boundary Agreement”, Slovo 28(2).

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  • Published on 10 Sep 2016
  • Peer Reviewed

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