Management of the Bering Strait Region: Advocating for a U.S.-Russian Bilateral Agreement
This thesis examines the positive outcomes of a bilateral agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation for the management of the Bering Strait. The Bering Strait is a narrow passage separating the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, bordered on either side by the United States and Russia. As maritime shipping activity in the Arctic rises due to a decrease in previously ice-bound areas for transit and exploration, the Bering Strait will see a corollary increase in ship traffic as well. In order to ensure that this area remains safe and secure for international transit, it is in the best interests of both countries to commit resources and personnel to effectively cooperate on managing this strategic area.This thesis will identify the specific, tangible areas of cooperation between the United States and Russia, including those such as vessel traffic management, search and rescue operations, scientific collaboration and freedom of navigation. Additionally, the assessment of the criticality of including native peoples, in recognition of their important status in the Bering Strait region, will also be discussed.Finally, this paper will discuss how, from a global perspective, the proposed bilateral agreement between Russia and the United States will enhance the management of the Bering Strait and ultimately prove to be a bellwether for increased, future cooperation in the Arctic region as a whole.
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