Everyday tales and stories from the border regions of Europe and beyond, with the aim of explaining why we border-crossers are as obsessed as we are about this subject, why it is important to all of us, and why the co-operation community needs a little bit more visibility than it normally gets.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Fun and games in the Arctic

The Border-Crosser has always been a bit sceptical about maritime cross-border co-operation. After all, how can it be truly cross-border if you cannot even see the other side of the border, never mind walk there?

Maritime border issues and disputes are another matter altogether, as this BBC story from yesterday shows(http://tinyurl.com/67foms). Evidently, this all links in with the oil and mineral resources that are beginning to be found up north, and it can cause some interesting clashes. Global warming is also having an impact, with some potential sea routes now much more attractive than in the past.

The tensions being created by Russia's current aggressiveness will not surprise most observers, but there are also disputes between the USA and most of Europe on the one hand and Canada on the other over access to the North-West passage (or Canadian internal waters as it is known north of the 49th parallel). There is also the example of a classic border disagreement between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Island). When you get ministers flying in to bury bottles of alcohol on specific pieces of territory, you know this world is going slightly loopy.

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