A China-Russia Alliance in the Eurasian Arctic?

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Date: Wednesday 16 February 2022

Time: 14:00 - 15:00

Date: Wednesday 16 February | Location: Online Webinar | Time: 14:00 – 15:00 (UTC)

Co-host: Eversheds Sutherland

The Arctic is becoming the cockpit of the world for three central reasons:

  • The epicentre of the fastest rate of physical state change in the earth’s climate. 
  • The region where the 21st century’s most powerful countries will compete for strategic dominance: 3 Superpowers with nuclear weapons; the Northern Sea Route, reserves in hydrocarbon, fish, and rare-earth minerals, Space launch-location for digitisation
  • The Arctic Council (AC) is a successful model of governance for maintaining stability and predictability in the Arctic region.

Opportunities in the Arctic are now of global importance. The AC’s decision-making process and governance of the region is therefore increasingly influenced by non-Arctic states - and no longer just the AC. Russia is China’s sponsor in the Arctic

Unintended consequences of Russian Sanctions in the Arctic: There is a deepening and widening Sino-Russian relationship in the Eurasian Arctic and the main beneficiary of Western sanctions on Russia in the Arctic will be China.

Russia priority in the European Artic has changed from Securitisation to Militarisation. Sanctions have failed to restrain its freedom of movement and have, if anything, accelerated Moscow’s plans to unfold its Greater Eurasian Project strategy whilst concurrently facilitating and benefiting from China’s Ice Silk Road backed Arctic infrastructure and financing initiatives (e.g., NSR).

US/EU commercial withdrawal following sanctions — especially Big Oil — has left neither power with any kind of strategic geo-economic leverage over Russia in the Eurasian Arctic region and has created an economic vacuum which China is steadily filling. 

The webinar will analyse:

  • Sino-Russian (SR) relations in the Eurasian Arctic: Partnership or Alliance?
  • S-R Strategy & Methodology in the Arctic region: Strategic Implications.
  • Geo-economic Cooperation in the Pacific Arctic: from Globalisation to Regionalisation
  • Cooperation in LNG and Gas Markets in NE Asia; a Gas OPEC?
  • Global Economic influences: Technology, IPE, BRI, pivot to Asia, Institutions & Governance
  • Technology: competition for Space, and link with NSR and China’s BRI. Virtual linkage, technological connectivity, and global governance.
  • An Alliance? S-R de-couple from the West. The Critical pivotal moment(s)? 


Tim Reilly - Arctic Advisory Group

Tim’s PhD from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, addressed the geoeconomics and energy relations between Russia and China in the Eurasian Arctic. He is the founder of the UK-based Arctic Advisory Group consultancy firm. Previous career appointments include Government Affairs Adviser to Shell Gas & Power in Russia/Ukraine, as well as working in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia, and Ukraine, for companies such as Chevron and JKX Oil & Gas. His first experience of the Arctic was as a young paratroop officer in the 1980s where he was an instructor in Arctic warfare. 

Tim is a Russian speaker and was educated at Cambridge and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Since the 1990s he has lived extensively in the CIS. He was an expert witness to both the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on the Arctic, and more recently, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic. Tim has authored various UK Arctic position/policy papers for the UK government. He currently advises, and is the creator of various recent Arctic scenarios/position papers, for HMG.