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Arctic experts from Norway and Iceland to give evidence to Lords Committee

Monday 22 May 2023

On Wednesday 24 May the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will hear from academics from Norway and Iceland who are experts on the Arctic.

The session will explore the key concerns and objectives of both countries regarding the region, consider current and future governance arrangements, and the extent of UK involvement in the Arctic.

The session will start at 10.30am and will be available to watch live or on demand on Parliament TV, or attend in person in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

Giving evidence will be:

10.30am

  • Dr Elana Wilson Rowe, Research Professor, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and;
  • Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir, Lecturer, University of Iceland.

Questions for discussion will include:

  • What does it mean to the governments and societies of Iceland and Norway to be “Arctic states”?

  • Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Arctic Seven have paused most co-operation with Russia through the Arctic Council. What has been the impact of this for Iceland and Norway? Has this adversely affected multilateral co-operation with the Arctic Seven? How have the constraints on dialogue with Russia impacted Norway and Iceland?

  • What is the position of Norway and Iceland regarding future governance of the Arctic?

  • How do Norway and Iceland assess the security threat posed by Russia in the Arctic? In your view, could Russia initiate or escalate a conflict in the Arctic? How serious a problem is malign Russian activity (such as jamming GPS, damaging or threatening underwater infrastructure)?

  • How welcome would increased involvement by the UK in the Arctic be from the perspective of Norway and Iceland, and, if so, what form should it take?

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