Joint exercises and military cooperation are among the expected casualties of a diplomatic fallout between the U.S. and Russia over recent events in Ukraine, U.S. officials say.
The administration will cancel the biannual Northern Eagle exercise, which involves the U.S., Norway and Russia, a military official says to web site Stars and Stripes. A planning conference for the exercise on April 13 is expected to be cancelled.
Northern Eagle, held every two years in the Barents and Norwegian seas, focuses on anti-terror and anti-piracy operations, coordinated maneuvering, joint air defense drills, communications and search and rescue operations. It was first held in 2004 as a bilateral Russian-U.S. exercise but was opened to Norway in 2008.
In Northern Eagle 2012 the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer “USS Farragut”, the Russian Northern Fleet’s destroyer “Admiral Chabaneko” and the Norwegian coast guard vessel “KV Andenes” participated.
Officials are also discussing pulling out of the annual FRUKUS naval exercise between France, Russia, the United Kingdom and U.S. A planning conference for the exercise that is scheduled for April 22-23 can be cancelled, the military source says.
FRUKUS, held last year in France, was created by the four nations in 2003 to improve interoperability. It is the largest international exercise Russia’s Northern Fleet takes part in.
Gazprom Neft has for the first time sent oil from Yamal along the northern Sea Route in winter conditions. 16.000 tons of crude oil was shipped to European consumers by oil tanker, escorted by a nuclear icebreaker.
Russia is prepared to protect its interests in the Arctic with military means if necessary, says Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu, pointing to the increasing interest in the region’s resources by countries with no direct access to the Arctic.
“Ship-to-ship reloading of oil in icy-waters outside Kirkenes is a great example that Norway jeopardizes nature by lowering safety standards in our race for industrialization of the north,” says Lars Haltbrekken, head of the Norwegian Society for the conservation of Nature.
The UK needs to up its game in the Arctic or risk being «outmaneuvered” by other states, and should start by appointing an ambassador to the region, according to a report by the House of Lords Arctic Committee.
Could the Northern Sea Route be suitable for shipment of fish from the Far East to the European parts of Russia and vice versa? Stake holders in Russia’s fisheries industry and fishery authorities believe so.
“Whatever the pressure, Rakurs will continue to support LGBT community, to provide legal and psychological help. And we are going to challenge this wrongful decision in the court,” says Tatiana Vinnichenko, head of the organization.