“Higher attention from the Arctic Council member states towards the military factor in the Arctic should not be considered as militarization,” Russia’s Ambassador at Large and representative at the Arctic Council Anton Vasiliev said in an interview with ITAR-TASS. “It is implementation of national sovereignties of the countries, which share responsible approaches to the region’s security”, he explained.
“The demand for further improvement of military cooperation among the Arctic countries is evident,” the ambassador said in an interview with ITAR-TASS. “What forms it will have will depend on practical agreements.” Everything is done transparently, logically, and is not aimed against any neighbours, is not of a destabilizing character and does not cross any ‘red lines’.
The Russian military build-up that we have seen the last couple of years is only based on Russia’s concern with defending its own vast northern regions, which are becoming more vulnerable due to climate change, the ambassador explained. Vasiliev said Russia once had a naturally secure border of 20,000 kilometers of frozen ice, but that is literally melting away as temperatures rise in the Arctic.
“Now the climate is getting milder, the ice is retreating and we simply need to protect our borders from illegal border crossing, illegal emigration, organized crime and terrorism”, Vasiliev said. Economic activity in the Arctic Russia is on the rise, and Russia sees an obligation in securing navigation on the Northern Sea Route and having reliable search & rescue powers in the area. “It is complicated to do this without help from the military”.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.