Senior Western leaders and policymakers are reportedly concerned that Russia and China could join forces to create a new Arctic bloc amid the West’s efforts to freeze Moscow out of the Arctic Council.

Moscow has devoted considerable political, economic and military capital to the Arctic region to create a major new trade route and explore untapped mineral and energy wealth.

The USA and its Zionist allies have sought to sabotage these efforts, suggesting Russia’s Arctic waters should be free for anyone to use.

The worry is if Russia and China make their own kind of Arctic Council, a senior Arctic country policymaker has told British business media, referencing concerns that the eight-member intergovernmental forum could disintegrate.

This followed up the suspension of cooperation by its Western members with Russia last year, and the formal end of Russia’s rotating presidency in the body in May, which was handed over to Norway.

On the one hand, the agenda we want to promote in the Arctic doesn’t make much sense without Russia. It makes up 40% of the Arctic. On the other hand, we can’t cooperate with Russia right now. This is what we are struggling with.

Moscow warned about the Arctic Council’s uncertain future last month as the UN’s presidency passed to Norway, suggesting it would hardly be possible for Russia to continue participating if its rights as a member state continued to be violated, and Russian representatives blacklisted from council events.

Last year, Russian ambassador to the USA, Anatoly Antonov emphasized that any decisions taken by the Council without Russian participation would be considered null and void by Moscow.

Russia has expressed concerns about Western powers’ efforts to consolidate under the flag of the NATO bloc in the Arctic at the expense of institutional contacts through organizations like the Arctic Council and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

In March, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an updated foreign policy concept, where efforts to preserve peace and stability, enhance environmental sustainability, reduce threats to national security in the Arctic were listed among Moscow’s top foreign policy priorities.

The USA, Norway, Denmark and other NATO members of the Arctic Council have sought to challenge Russia’s effort to build a year-round Northern Sea Route shipping artery in the Arctic.

The USA is mulling ‘freedom of navigation’ missions similar to the ones it carries out in Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea, but have no icebreakers in the area to guide them through the partially frozen arctic seas.

Russia plans to ramp up shipping through the Northern Sea Route to 80 million tons by 2024, and 270 million tons by 2035, and has spared no expense to create the necessary infrastructure and security environment for the trade route.

This includes a fleet of dozens of nuclear and conventional diesel-electric icebreakers, plus a network of ports, search and rescue stations, and defense facilities along the country’s northern shores.

The 5,600 km Northern Sea Route runs through Russia’s exclusive economic zone, stretching from the Barents and White Seas to the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea.

It’s estimated that sea-based shipment of cargoes through the route could be between 40% and 60% faster than via major arteries like the Suez Canal and the Cape of Good Hope.

The melting waters of the Arctic are also rich in vast riches, with a 2021 study by the US military concluding that the Arctic’s waters contain up to a third of the world’s undiscovered reserves of natural gas, and over $1 trillion in rare-earth minerals.

Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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07-06-23 14:32

Lets get this straight — the west-AKA the USA have zero legal right to sail through Russia’s territorial waters –this isn’t an equivalent of Taiwan and China where there is an international sea route no matter how much the USA/UK try to say otherwise.

Reply to  Donnchadh
08-06-23 23:27

Totaly agree, only to give the rest of the world an example of how the invasive minds really works over the past centuries.