Sunday, August 28, 2022

Who Controls the Arctic?

 Socialist Courier used to regularly feature posts titled Who Owns the North Pole concerning the Arctic region, recognising that it was undergoing political and military change as its environment was influenced by climate change. The long thread of posts was eventually discontinued but that decision may well have been premature now that Russia has once again become an imminent threat and made the polar region even more strategically vital.

The United States is planning to appoint an Ambassador for the Arctic in response to Russia stepping up its presence near the north pole with submarines and warplanes and with China building Arctic research stations, widely seen as a prelude to a larger presence. The announcement of the new position of US ambassador-at-large comes as several days of talks open in Greenland on Arctic affairs.

Seven of the eight nations in the Arctic Council suspended their participation earlier this year because the rotating chair is held by Russia, which has faced western ostracisation over its invasion of Ukraine.

Nato's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the Canadian Arctic on Friday, where he said Russia's capabilities in the North are a strategic challenge for the military alliance.

He said the challenges include the reopening of "hundreds of new and former Soviet-era Arctic military sites" and Russia's use of the high north "as a testbed for the most advanced weapons including hypersonic missiles".

Stoltenberg also expressed concern about China's reach into the Arctic for shipping and resources exploration.

"Beijing and Moscow have also pledged to intensify practical operation in the Arctic. This forms part of the deepening strategic partnership that challenges our values and our interests," he said.

US to appoint its first Arctic Ambassador - BBC News

No comments: