BRICS countries’ strategies in the Arctic and the prospects for consolidated BRICS agenda in the Arctic

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The paper examines Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries’ growing interests in the Arctic and explores the current state, as well as prospects for BRICS cooperation in the Arctic. Against the background of a complex situation in the world arena and changes in the political landscape in some of BRICS countries, the importance of developing new dimensions of cooperation to solidify this grouping are very high on the BRICS agenda. Given the recent intensification of BRICS countries’ activities in the Arctic (with the exception of South Africa, which is disengaged in the Arctic affairs), the article aims to study the feasibility of BRICS cooperation in the Arctic and elaboration of the BRICS’ Arctic agenda as the grouping. Although BRICS countries have very different Arctic identities, different status in the Arctic governance, and they are at different stages of their engagement with the Arctic region, still these five countries on several occasions discussed plans for cooperation on polar issues and the Arctic. The article gives an analysis of the interests and strategies of Russia and non-Arctic BRICS countries in the Arctic; it discusses the background, existing forms–bilateral and multilateral–of cooperation between the BRICS countries, potential venues for cooperation in the Arctic between the BRICS countries and within BRICS as a grouping, limitations and barriers to BRICS cooperation in the Arctic. Abbreviation: AZRF: Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; BRICS–Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; BRICS STI: BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation; CNPC: China National Petroleum Corporation; EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone; LNG: Liquefied Natural Gas; NDB: New Development Bank; NSR: Northern Sea Route; ONGC-OVL: Oil and National gas Corporation–Videsh Limited; RIC: Russia, India, China; SLOCS: Sea lines of communication; UN: United Nations; USSR: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
JournalThe Polar Journal
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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