NATO and the Arctic revisited: spillover from crisis in Crimea?
Russia, which accounts for half of the Arctic region, is one of eight nations that make up the Arctic Council (the others are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and United States), along with representatives of six Indigenous Peoples' organisations. During the Cold War the Arctic was a heavily militarised region and a focus for competing East-West strategies. However, former Soviet President Gorbachev's 1987 speech in which he called for a "zone of peace" to be created in the Arctic, set the tone for a new era of cooperation and the founding of the Arctic Council about a decade later. Since then larger geopolitical questions have tended to be overlooked by the Council.