Vladimir Putin has said: “If you stand alone you cannot survive in the Arctic. Nature makes people and states to help each other.” But are international relations in the Arctic really that different from those in other regions – such as Eastern Europe – and if so, why?

Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. Prior to 2005, he was a Professor of Law at Duke University. He is the author, most recently, of International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge University Press, 2013).