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China is accelerating its pace in Arctic exploration by publishing its first guide to sailing through the Northern Sea Route.

Greenpeace’s vessel «Arctic Sunrise» has been released after nearly nine months of detention in Murmansk, following the organization’s demonstration against Arctic drilling in the Pechora Sea last fall.

Arctic warming is setting off changes that affect people and the environment in this fragile region, and has broader effects beyond the Arctic on global security, trade, and climate, a new report reads.

Russia will file a claim with the UN by the end of March 2015 to expand the boundaries of its continental shelf in the Arctic. Conflicting territorial claims with Denmark will be solved via bilateral talks, the Russian Government says.

After four years of increased use of the Northern Sea Route by vessels going in transit between Europe and Asia, 2014 saw a steep downturn. The amount of cargo transported in transit dropped 77 percent compared to last year.

Denmark will on Monday afternoon become the first country to claim ownership of the North Pole. Scientific data shows Greenland’s continental shelf is connected to a ridge beneath the Arctic Ocean, says Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard.

A new satellite station at the easternmost point of Norway will give better surveillance of shipping in the High North.

Global warming will have more impact on Russian than any other area of the world, this will give the country certain advantages as longer navigation period and shorter heat supply seasons, Head of Meteorology says.

Russia’s leading icebreaker yard, the Baltiysky Zavod, is more than two years behind schedule in the contruction of the country’s new generation diesel-engined icebreakers.

Governors’ elections will be abolished and the governance of Arctic territories is likely to be transferred to a new Ministry of the Arctic.

Former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre has been appointed manager of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic. -

Moscow is getting ready to fuel China’s energy-hungry economy and is using Arctic assets in its bargain. Not only will Russian Arctic gas flow towards Beijing, China is also likely to get new footholds in offshore assets.

Poland has noticeably increased its activity in Arctic affairs in recent years. Next year the Arctic Council observer state will launch a program aimed at attracting more Polish companies to the north.

One of the leading authorities on the physics of northern seas is predicting an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2020.

Russia eyes huge new territories in the Arctic after comprehensive mapping of the North Pole area.