Secretary of State Antony Blinken, newly embarked on a swing through Arctic countries, may need the extended summer daylight to handle the crisis in the Middle East as well as his scheduled talks. But Blinken has a real chance to bolster U.S. national and climate security interests in Denmark, then Iceland—where he will participate in the Arctic Council Ministerial, and finally Greenland. Along the way, he will hold his first meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, recommit to northern allies and partners on climate change, and provide a check on China’s growing interests in the Arctic—all key to Biden administration priorities.
U.S.-Russian relations have been plummeting. Russian massing of troops along the Ukrainian border, the worsening condition of detained Putin opponent Alexei Navalny, and accusations by the United States of Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election have in recent months spurred further deterioration, making diplomatic engagement of Russia more difficult than ever.…
The remainder of this commentary is available at defenseone.com.
Abbie Tingstad is associate director of the Engineering and Applied Sciences Department, codirector of the Climate Resilience Center, and a senior physical scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Stephanie Pezard is associate director of the Defense and Political Science Department and a senior political scientist at RAND.
This commentary originally appeared on Defense One on May 18, 2021. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.