Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 350

350 Arctic Yearbook 2015 Organization (NATO), it is also possible to cover the aggravating nexus of the currently strained NATO-Russia relations (Åtland & Pedersen Torbjørn 2014). This situation is fostered even more by the fact that thirdly, both countries are sharing a direct national border and fourthly, have for different reasons, a considerable share of their armed forces deployed above the Arctic Circle (Wezeman 2012). The Arctic region – a traditional security community under pressure of the Ukrainian crisis? Based on the theoretical framework of security communities, the aim of this section is to identify to which degree the Arctic today can be considered a traditional security community. Based on the assumption that regional security cannot be treated separately from global security developments, if and to what degree has the recent crisis in Ukraine influenced this development. Treating many-sided and direct relations as a necessary precondition, the identification of the existence of the precondition will be the point of departure, followed by an assessment of the Arctic’s norms in dispute settlement, for collective action as well as its collective identity. Many-sided and direct relations The Arctic Council (AC) is at the core of multilateral relations in the High North (Bailes & Heininen 2012: 12). Its mandate seeks to “provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic” (The Ottawa Declaration 1996). The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) and the Northern Dimension of the EU (ND) provide additional formats for discussing possible means of cooperation on non-military aspects of security in the High North (Bailes & Heininen 2012: 13). Since the AC explicitly excludes dealing with issues of military security (Ottawa Declaration 1996), there are no official Arctic-specific multilateral forums dealing with traditional issues of military security (Regehr & Buelles 2015: 72). The informal annual meeting of the Arctic’s Chiefs of Defense Staff (CHOD) (ibid.: 72 f.), the newly established Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF)1 (U.S. Coast Guard 2015), other joint military and coast guard exercises as well as minor forms of military cooperation are thus the countries’ only forums for discussing military and traditional security perceptions exclusively among each other (Regehr & Buelles 2015: 69 ff.). Apart from solely Arctic-specific forums, all Arctic states can address a large variety of their military security concerns related to the region through a number of non-Arctic-specific multilateral forums. For this purpose most important are the OSCE’s ‘Forum for Security Co-operation (OSCE – FSC)’, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) of NATO as well as the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) from which the latter is only available to NATO member states and the Russian Federation. Members of the Arctic states’ armed forces further officially meet during the cooperative implementation of the OSCE’s Vienna Document 2011 (VD’11) on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs)2 the implementation of the treaty on Open Skies (OS).3 Schaller