Monday, February 23, 2009

Russia To Militarize Arctic in Anticipation Of Resource Grab

Odd news of the day: Russian General Nikolai Makarov was quoted on Interfax as saying Russia is closely watching the militarization of the Arctic circle, "as global warming makes potentially valuable resources in the polar region more accessible." Russia, which has been actively focused on the North Pole as its next strategic stop, 18 months ago sent explorers in a mini-submarine who dove 4,200 meters (14,000ft) to the North Pole's seabed, and symbolically planted the Russian flag, to the annoyance of other Arctic claimants, such as Canada. The scramble makes sense as 13% of the worlds undiscovered oil, and 30% of gas, are estimated to lie beneath the arctic circle.

Russia air and naval power in the region has also become more visible. Long-range strategic bombers fly over the Arctic and are frequently shadowed by NATO aircraft. Russia's Northern fleet based in Murmansk has expanded patrols, after a period of relative inactivity after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moscow is counting on the United Nations to grant it access not just to the seas of the Arctic, but the right to exploit its seabed for valuable fossil fuels and mineral reserves.

NATO members with Arctic Sea coastlines -- and in some cases competing claims -- are Canada, the United States, Norway and Greenland, an autonomous island within the kingdom of Denmark.
All we need now is a repeat of 1961 Cuba over a bunch of rapidly melting icebergs.
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Anonymous said...

Ahh, the next cold war............:-))