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SIPRI Policy Papers

Rebuilding Collective Security in the Black Sea Region

Armed clashes between Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 are a timely reminder of the fragile nature of security in the Black Sea. Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the onset of conflict in eastern Ukraine, tensions have risen as Russia has continued to build up its regional armed forces and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has significantly strengthened its commitment to the Black Sea. While neither side is seeking a direct military confrontation, the risks from military accidents and unintended clashes, misperception and miscalculation are clear.

Emerging Chinese–Russian Cooperation in the Arctic

Russia increasingly focuses on developing the Russian Arctic as a way to strengthen its economic base. However, long-term trends in energy markets and the recent conflict in Ukraine (and the sanctions from the United States and the European Union that followed it) have placed restrictions on Western companies’ involvement in energy projects in the region. This has motivated Russia to look more closely at Asia—as a source of potential investors and technology partners as well as a key consumer market.

Implementing an Arms Trade Treaty: Lessons on Reporting and Monitoring from Existing Mechanisms

In 2012 the United Nations will convene a conference to negotiate an arms trade treaty (ATT). The resulting treaty is expected to legally obligate states to provide information on their arms transfers and transfer control systems. This Policy Paper provides the first comprehensive overview of existing UN instruments that require states to report on their arms transfers, transfer controls and enforcement measures. It outlines the types of information required to assess compliance with an ATT, extracts lessons learned from the existing instruments and identifies areas of duplication.

Russia's Arctic Security Policy: Still Quiet in the High North?

Even while Russia was strengthening its military and civil emergency forces in the Arctic over the past few years as part of a wider programme of military modernization, many experts and policymakers continued to view the region as a benign security environment. However, against the background of the conflict in Ukraine and growing tensions between Russia and the West, Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic has become a trigger for renewed concern regarding the potential militarization of the region.

The Role of Parliamentarians in Building Security in and for Europe

Europe does not have a common security system that is capable of preventing conflicts and violence. Despite the trend towards tighter controls from individual states, the cooperative approach to security in Europe remains the most convincing model in light of the increased integration and internationalization of the world. This Policy Paper focuses on the role of parliamentarians in reassessing and building security in Europe.

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