Arctic Council: US attacks Russia and China
At a meeting of the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum of the eight states that border on the Arctic Ocean, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked Russia for trying to gain control of the Polar region and militarising the area. He also accused China of aggressive tactics to boost its influence in this strategically important area. Is Washington's criticism justified?
International law applies in the North Pole too
Ria Novosti regards the US's accusations as dishonest:
“Pompeo formulated the concerns of US diplomats regarding the Arctic in the form of a complaint stating that 'in the Northern Sea Route, Moscow already illegally demands that other nations request permission to pass'. But Moscow is merely asserting its rights here and passing its own regulations in strict accordance with international law. As experience shows, for our opponents abroad the concept of international law exists only when it can be used as an instrument for exerting pressure on Washington's opponents. But never when its application would curtail US interests.”
Militarisation in full swing
Russia and China will join forces in the Arctic, warns Ilta-Sanomat:
“Geography is on Russia's side when it comes to the coast of the Arctic Ocean. Its huge landmass borders the ocean and climate change is opening up new sea routes that Russia can control because of its geographical position. China will never be able to operate there without Russia's permission. One has to ask why the US is doing everything possible to bring these two rivals together. China is prosperous and has new technologies at its disposition. Russia is a military power. The US should be trying to ensure that the interests of its two biggest competitors are as disparate as possible. In the past the militarisation of the Arctic was rejected, but things are clearly moving in the opposite direction now.”