Thursday, July 28, 2016

Russian-Nordic Relations: the Arctic, trade and public diplomacy


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Russian-Nordic Relations: the Arctic, trade and public diplomacy
Conference at the Nordic House in Reykjavik / September 8-9, 2016
Theme of the Conference
At the present, when Cold War language and rhetoric has more or less returned to the international discourse about Russia, the conference puts the spotlight on three factors that (both now and historically) can be seen as incentives for open dialogue and friendly relations between Russia and the Nordic countries. The three themes are the Arctic, trade and public diplomacy.
The purpose of the conference is to give participants an understanding of recent developments in Russian foreign policy and Russian-Nordic relations: to explore in what ways the Nordics share a common agenda and where our attitudes and strategies differ towards this important neighbour. Furthermore, the aim is to present Icelandic experiences and viewpoints – and discuss these in a Nordic context when relevant. The conference aims to promote dialogue between participants from different sectors and we hope to shed light on constructive aspects of Russian-Nordic relations with future perspectives in mind.
The first theme, the Arctic, will include discussions about the Northern sea route, energy and security matters. With trade the underlying question is to what extent trade and politics/ideology can or should be separated. Public diplomacy will look at how cultural and scientific exchange can contribute to keeping an open door at times of political tension.
About the conference
The conference will take place on September 8-9, 2016 and will be divided into two sections. Part I will run from 14:30 – 17:00 on September 8th (Thursday) and will start with giving a „bird view“ of the topics at hand, with a broad regional viewpoint and historical background. I.e. the angle will be Russian-international-Nordic cooperation and Russian-Icelandic relations in a historical perspective. Part II will run from 9:00 to 12:00 on September 9th (Friday) and address current issues with a more country-specific focus. The conference will be in English.
The conference is organized by the Nordic House in Reykjavik in collaboration with the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland. The conference is a part of a Nordic conference series arranged by Hanasaari in Finland, Nordic House in Iceland and the “Nordic Pearls”, i.e. Voksenåsen and Lysebu in Norway, Schaeffergaarden in Denmark and Nordens Biskops Arnö in Sweden.
You can read more about the series here.
For early registration please send an email to
Price: 4.000 ISK (includes coffee and refreshments)
Students: free of charge
For further information please contact:
Kristín Ingvarsdóttir
Tel: +354 551 7032

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