The disputes over the Arctic do not cease. Russia, often seen as the antagonist in the Arctic, was able to peacefully and cooperatively reach an agreement with Norway after 40 years of territorial disputes.
The Arctic Council (1996), in place to resolve disputes, comprises 8 Nordic countries. It is a high-level venue for discussing substantial concerns (e.g. environment and native rights). Today’s most important issue on the agenda: peace and security.
According to a recent Ekos survey, 62% of Americans are willing to work to strike a deal with Canada over the disputed territory; 50% of Canadians assert its full sovereign rights over the area. The Nordic countries heavily support negotiating a compromise to Arctic territorial disputes (Canada and Russia: More support for pursuing a firm line in defending of the Arctic). See post (May 16, 2010). On the issue of an Arctic nuclear-weapons free zone: 6 of 9 constituencies were very supportive of the idea (Norway, Southern and Northern Canada, Finland and Denmark; American and Russian respondents were less enthusiastic).
Canada will become chair of the council in 2013 (Janice Gross and Thomas S. Axworthy, “The Arctic Council is the best way for Canada to resolve its territorial disputes,” Globe and Mail, January 25, 2010).