Russia talks against militarization of the Arctic – and goes for it

Russian tanks in Novoazovsk are yet to be stopped by NATO strong words.

Russian tanks in Novoazovsk are yet to be stopped by NATO strong words.

As Russian tanks roll into Ukraine, President Putin promised to act according to the international law in the Arctic. In the same breath, however, he reminded that US strike submarines are concentrated “near Norwegian shores” and their missiles could reach Moscow in 15-16 minutes. The commitment to upgrading the military infrastructure in the High North is executed with great haste, so that on the Wrangel island a new church is erected in the center of re-established military base. The one-sided arms race makes an odd background for the idea of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “to bracket the Arctic out of the military rhetoric”. ┬áLavrov was taking argument with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who said in Copenhagen that Canada was ready to defend its sovereignty in the Arctic against Russian encroachments – and Russian media did not miss that point. Baird is definitely on target – the brazen intervention in Ukraine proves that international law means nothing for the Kremlin, and its commitment to cooperation in the Arctic is good only insofar as it finds it more profitable than a continuation of policy by other means.

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