Russia: Arctic should be a zone of peace and security

Russia favours that the Arctic should be turned into a zone of peace and security. The statement was made by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the wake of his talks with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gar Stere.

The move appears timely bearing in mind the so-called “battle over Arctic” begun in recent years. This implies rivalry between regional states striving to expand zones of their continental shelves in the Arctic Ocean. Interest in the matter was aroused by an unprecedented Russian deepwater expedition to the North Pole which collected evidence to support Russia’s claims for part of the Arctic. The United States, Great Britain, Denmark and some other countries followed suit. This is clear since the region is rich in oil and gas and other raw materials. In conditions of global warming sea ice is melting faster providing an easier access to raw materials. As matters stand now, a number of states, such as the US, Canada and NATO countries, have announced their plans for increased military presence in the Arctic region. This is fraught with greater tension and confrontation in the region. Here is an opinion from Sergei Lavrov.

Regional states are responsible for stable development of the Arctic. Russia and Norway confirmed their loyalty to the agreements reached at the conference of 5 Arctic states in May 2008. They stipulate that all disputable issues should be resolved in keeping with norms of international law. On April 28-29 a regular session of the Arctic Council will be held in the Norwegian city of Troms. Russia hopes that the session will approve its initiative for the creation of security systems and implementation of economic and infrastructural projects in the Arctic.

This approach gives rise to the hope that the Arctic can be turned into a region of cooperation, not confrontation. And all disputable issues in the region, including claims for expanding the continental shelf zones, will be resolved jointly by good neighbours without whipping up the tension and demonstration of military might.

Articles by: Global Research

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