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Opportunity in the Arctic: Defrosting Russia and America's Chilly Relationship

While the Arctic might not seem like a priority for many Americans, it should not be overlooked as an important region for salvaging the U.S.-Russian relationship.  

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 13.01.2015


Tensions in the Arctic

One hundred sixty eight years ago this past July, two British warships—HMS Erebus and HMS Terror—sailed north into Baffin Bay, bound on a mission to navigate the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It would be the last that the 19th century world would see of Sir John Franklin and his 128 crewmembers.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 15.11.2014


1.2 million, 5 billion tons of fuel: Russia to apply for Artic shelf expansion

Russia will address the UN on the expansion of its Arctic shelf next spring. If successful the move would see the country adding an area of 1.2 million sq. kilometers in the Arctic Ocean, holding 5 billion tons of standard fuel, to its territory.  A field investigation to make such an appeal possible has been successfully completed in the area, Sergey Donskoy, the country’s natural resources minister, said.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 29.10.2014


Ice Station Obama

Although President Obama's «pivot to Asia» is receiving media attention, his little-known push to establish American hegemony over the rapidly melting Arctic polar zone has gone largely unnoticed. Using three NATO allies, all of them monarchies, Obama is trying to establish a U.S.-led condominium of the United States, Canada, Norway, and Denmark over the Arctic, conspicuously leaving Russia out of the equation. Obama’s military and intelligence push into the Arctic could be taken from the pages of the 1960s Cold War thriller by Alistair MacLean, «Ice Station Zebra»...

Wayne MADSEN | 06.06.2014


Arctic: New Economic and Security Hot Spot (II)

...During a meeting with Moscow State University students in Moscow on December 3, Putin was asked whether Russia and other countries might loosen their grip on Arctic territory for military exercises and exploitation of natural resources in favor of environmental preservation. The Russian leader replied that the United States hasn't slipped off the ice shelf and implied that his country's national defense priorities will continue to outweigh conservation efforts. «Experts know quite well that it takes U.S. missiles 15 to 16 minutes to reach Moscow from the Barents Sea», Putin said...

Andrei AKULOV | 27.12.2013


Arctic: New Economic and Security Hot Spot (I)

...Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Northern Sea Route (NSR) could one day rival the Suez Canal in terms of ship traffic. Compared to the current routes via the Panama and Suez Canals, commercial shipping transits from the Pacific to the Atlantic through the Northwest Passage could save two weeks of travel time... Speaking at an international security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 22 US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the release of the Pentagon’s first «Arctic Strategy» defining the US policy in the region as the United States launches preparations to take over the rotating chairmanship of a key regional governance forum known as the Arctic Council. This position, slated to begin in 2015-2017, will offer Washington a unique new leadership role on Arctic issues...

Andrei AKULOV | 26.12.2013


Economic Cooperation Prevents Conflict of Interests in the Arctic

New technologies and climate change have significantly raised the profile of Arctic resources for the global economy. According to the Economist, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Many experts quoting Alfred T. Mahan’s work «The Influence of Sea Power Upon History” agree that seaborne commerce in the High North will become an important geopolitical factor over the next several decades. Prospects of political dominance in the Arctic provoke heated debates sometimes overdramatised by the media. But realpolitik dictates that all states concerned should rely on existing legal and institutional framework enabling peaceful cooperation...

Igor ALEXEEV | 20.02.2013


Arctic Turning into Hotbed of Instability

The US Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century, that saw light in 2009, includes the Arctic into the list of major challenges to be ready for. The document outlined expansion of naval and air military presence in the region. The US nuclear submarines participated in Ice Exercise 2011 (ICEX-2011) in the Arctic Ocean, conducted in March 2011 along with elements of Canadian and UK navies. Meanwhile the Arctic conflicts have already become inspiration for computer games designers. For instance, the recent game called Naval Warfare: Arctic Circle tells a story about navies and air forces of Russia and NATO fighting for Arctic dominance...

Andrei AKULOV | 24.09.2012


The Situation in the Arctic – the West Prepares for Grab

Bilateral contacts is an ordinary regular procedure in the international practice. The US State Secretary Hillary Clinton visited Norway on June 1-2... The “internationalization” of the Arctic resources and the Northern Sea Route topped the agenda... the Arctic Council becomes a structure controlling the whole process of the Arctic exploration led by a narrow group of the states assigned at the meeting mentioned above. The process of Arctic exploration without Russia...

Dmitriy SEDOV | 14.06.2012


Brussels’ New Russia Sanctions Fuel for Eventual EU Bonfire

...Moreover, the leftwing Syriza government has denounced EU sanctions against Russia as baseless and has openly welcomed fraternal relations with president Vladimir Putin and Moscow. The inauguration of Alexi Tsipras as Greek prime minister also this week marks the election of the first EU government that is explicitly anti-austerity and vowing to repudiate the authority of Brussels. The European Council, led by former Polish president Donald Tusk, decided to extend travel bans and asset freezes on a list of Russia officials allegedly over the violence in Ukraine...

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