Arctic News Roundup: 26 October-1 November

[Photo by Mingming Shi]

by Mingming Shi

1) The President of Iceland (Forseti Íslands), Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, and his spouse, (forsetafrú in Icelandic, the equivalent of a ‘First Lady’), Eliza Jean Reid, delivered a joint speech to express their gratitude to health care workers around the country who have been securing the health of citizens, especially in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic, as well as calling for greater social solidarity during difficult times for the country. The speech was given in Icelandic and English, respectively, by the presidential couple.

2) In light of Halloween, a video on Greenlandic mythical stories was produced by Visit Greenland, a site administered by the Government of Greenland, and created to promote local tourism. The video explains that long Arctic nights and spectacular, albeit untamed, nature had inspired the mythologies and subsequent stories.   

3) A commentary was published by the Barents Observer on the latest Arctic strategy introduced by the Kremlin. The article argues that the Russian government has not paid enough attention to the environmental protection of the country’s Arctic regions. Moscow will be assuming the chair position of the Arctic Council from Iceland in 2021, and there has been much discussion as to what new regional policies will be proposed within the organisation during Russia’s tenure.

4) The Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research (CHACR), a British military affairs think tank, published a briefing entitled ‘Greenland: Security, Trade, Competition’ in October. The publication outlines the major interests and activities of China, the United States and United Kingdom in relation to Greenland, with a special focus on the natural resources extraction sector. The paper also notes that Greenland is significantly important to British interests in terms of trade policies, security, foreign relations and other related areas.