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  • Elena Grozdanovska

New alliance forged as Canada and Vietnam find common ground on military energy sources

The UNSC meeting has spawned another cooperative effort, addressing two key issues concerning this Security Council: sustainability and military presence in the Arctic. The delegations of Canada and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have struck a deal to phase out the use of diesel fuel in favor of sustainable energy sources for the purposes of their militaries, with the Vietnamese delegation conceding after criticism on the Canadian side of its deployment of diesel submarines. The agreement is nonetheless a quid-pro-quo: the Vietnamese delegation has asked for Canadian support for Vietnamese interests in issues concerning the Arctic Council, in return for what they have called a “show of good will” on their part.

This announcement comes after news broke that Chinese hackers are responsible for the USS Jacksonville nuclear incident. In light of these revelations, states in the Chinese orbit of influence might be more inclined to seek out strategic partners outside the region. The news is likely to affect the ongoing discussion in the UNSC, coming amidst a lull on regional security issues. The Chinese delegation has been vigorously pushing its agenda for the creation of an Arctic Coast Guard consisting of the Arctic Council States plus China as a “near-Arctic state”, a term the Chinese Communist Party has coined to establish itself as a rightful player in the Arctic arena.

The newly-formed alliance has not excluded the use of nuclear energy as a sustainable energy source for their national militaries. The Canadian delegation has stated that Canada considers it important to protect the Arctic environment particularly from the use of diesel-powered watercraft as polluters, and expressed their support for the application of nuclear energy sources in military vessels, nonetheless stating that “certain criteria has to be met” and the “causes of the USS Jacksonville incident have to be cleared up” in order for it to support the future deployment of nuclear submarines in the Arctic Circle. Having found consensus on this matter, the two states have expressed an interest in furthering economic cooperation, as well as organizing joint military drills in Arctic waters.

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