Russia warns Western countries against claims in Arctic ahead of talks
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday warned Western countries against staking claims in the Arctic ahead of this week’s Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik.
The Arctic in recent years has become the site of geopolitical competition between the countries that form the Arctic Council (Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland) as global warming makes the region more accessible.
A ministerial meeting of the eight-country council will take place on Wednesday and Thursday.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
“It has been absolutely clear for everyone for a long time that this is our territory, this is our land,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.
“We are responsible for ensuring our Arctic coast is safe,” he said.
“Let me emphasize once again – this is our land and our waters,” he added.
“But when NATO tries to justify its advance into the Arctic, this is probably a slightly different situation and here we have questions for our neighbors like Norway who are trying to justify the need for NATO to come into the Arctic.”
The United States in February sent strategic bombers to train in Norway as part of Western efforts to bolster its military presence in the region.
For the first time since the 1980s, the US Navy deployed an aircraft carrier in the Norwegian Sea in 2018.
President Vladimir Putin in recent years has made Russia’s Arctic region a strategic priority and ordered investment in military infrastructure and mineral extraction.
As ice cover in the Arctic decreases, Russia is hoping to make use of the Northern Sea Route shipping channel to export oil and gas to overseas markets.
Lavrov will meet with his US counterpart Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in a test of Moscow’s strained relationship with Washington.
Despite mounting tensions, Russia and the United States during climate negotiations earlier this year noted the Arctic as an area of cooperation.
Russia tests hypersonic missile in Arctic: Reports
US-China-Russia power play raising tensions in Arctic, says Denmark
After inspections, Russian watchdog says repeat of massive Arctic fuel leak unlikelyRussia’s safety watchdog said on Friday it had inspected nearly 4,000 fuel storage tanks in the Arctic since a huge leak last year, and determined ... Energy
91-year-old US vet recovers wallet lost 53 years ago in AntarcticaA meteorologist in the US Navy was pleasantly surprised to recover a wallet he had lost 53 years ago in Antarctica.Paul Grisham, 91, did not even ... Variety
Russia reopens Soviet-era laboratory to test weapons in Arctic conditionsRussia has reopened a Soviet-era laboratory to test weapons in extreme Arctic conditions, the military-industrial company which will run the facility ... World News
Norway’s top court starts hearing on landmark Arctic oil exploration caseNorway’s top court began to hear arguments on Wednesday on the legality of awarding offshore oil licenses in the Arctic, in a landmark case that could ... World News
‘Doomsday vault’ stocks up on more food seeds in ArcticAn Arctic “doomsday vault” is set Tuesday to receive 60,000 samples of seeds from around the world as the biggest global crop reserve ... Variety