(High North News) Policy makers were equally busy. The US announced that it would be withdrawing 700 American troops deployed in Norway. Working to build its own Arctic capacities, Moscow will surely appreciate the transfer of the US soldiers to the faraway Pacific and South China Sea.
Simultaneously, the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated key Arctic economic sectors. Today the prospect of an Arctic criss-crossed by cruise ships and oil tankers seems remote. [...]
Arctic states can give themselves high marks for having negotiated an agreement preventing unregulated commercial fishing as the sea ice breaks up in the Central Arctic Ocean. The moratorium, which is in place until a sufficient baseline of scientific knowledge about these potential fisheries is developed, is a nod to knowledge-based policymaking in the Arctic.
The agreement also shows how Arctic and non-Arctic states can work together. The US took the lead, supported by Arctic coastal states and with significant involvement from large fishing nations, including China. [...]
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