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Nov 13, 2022
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Russia’s withdrawal from the Arctic Council becomes inevitable

What is behind the absurd American claim

“The island, located eight time zones east of Moscow and home to some of Earth’s greatest natural wonders, belongs to the United States. Russia has held US territory since 1924. Wall The outside Magazine.

Where did this absurd claim come from, if from Wrangel Island to Chukotka in a straight line 82 kilometers, and to Alaska – 450?

For the first time the island is on the mapwas carried by the Russian pioneer Ivan Lvov in 1707, and at the same time Lomonosov put it on the polar map of Russian possessions. More than two hundred years later, on September 16, 1921, five Canadians landed on Wrangel, declaring the island “the possession of His Majesty George, King of Great Britain and Ireland, overseas dominions, Emperor of India, etc., and part of the British Empire.” And in August 1924, the gunboat “Red October” under the command of B.V. Davydova raised the Soviet flag on the island and evacuated the settlers from there.

Today there is a Russian military base on Wrangel Island. Since 2016, Russia has launched a program to build military airfields in the Arctic and has already built 10: on Cape Schmidt, Wrangel Island, Kotelny Island, the Franz Josef Land archipelago and in the Murmansk region. And the United States, having settled on the Wrangel, will ensure positional dominance from Alaska to the Urals.

We have historically inherited confrontation with the United States in the Arctic, but now it will become tougher. London published a Foreign Office report “Beyond the Ice: Britain’s Arctic Policy” a year ago (Beyond the Ice: UK policy towards the Arctic). Beijing has added its Arctic development project to the One Belt, One Road strategic initiative. Then India developed a plan for the development of the Arctic region. Arctic strategies were adopted by Singapore and South Korea, which were not Arctic at all…

Not today or tomorrow Sweden and Finland will become NATO members. And then it will be possible to put an equal sign between the only international organization (the Arctic Council) designed to promote cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development of the polar regions and the NATO military bloc: Russia will remain the only non-NATO member country in the Arctic Council. There can be no doubt that the status and tasks of the Council will then immediately change in the interests of the United States.

Since the end of March, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland have already temporarily suspended their activities in the Arctic Council. The reason was the traditional historical and legal approach of Russia to the status of the Arctic. It is reflected in the bilateral treaties of our country, starting with the Russian-English Convention of 1825 and the Russian-American Convention of 1867, and includes norms on the delimitation of the Arctic spaces along a sectoral line (going along the meridian to the North Pole). The same historical and legal approach is recorded in the Ilulissat Declaration of 2008, which was signed by the foreign ministers of the five Arctic coastal states – Russia, the USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway.

However, NATO is much closer to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, adopted in 1982, but not ratified by Washington. It determines that the territory of the state includes only the shelf, the boundaries of which are defined as 200 nautical miles, and with claims for more, the country must apply to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, established in 1997; this requires settling disputes with “other interested countries”.

Now the risk of a major conflict in the Arctic is growing markedly. As soon as the process of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance is completed, Russia will remain in the Arctic Council face to face with NATO. “The United States and NATO must continue to improve their defenses to prevent Russia from harassing their military and commercial aircraft and ships in and around the Arctic, and to ensure that the Alliance remains able to implement its wartime reinforcement plans on its northern and eastern flanks. »says the US Coast Guard. True, the service life of the only active heavy polar icebreaker of the American Coast Guard, the Polar Star, ends in a couple of years, and new ones have not been built for more than 40 years.

How events beyond the Arctic Circle will develop further is revealed by a study by the Carnegie Endowment. The study confirms that recent international events (primarily the NWO) are turning the Arctic into an arena of intense geopolitical competition. Within a month of the start of the JMD, NATO held the largest exercise in the Arctic in three decades, involving up to 30,000 troops from 27 countries on land, at sea and in the air. Then the Norwegian Cold Response 2022 showed that the situation in the region had become tense.

This should explain the “anxiety” of Finland and Sweden, which violated their long tradition of neutrality and joined NATO. Members of the Arctic Council are already boycotting any negotiations taking place in Russia, which currently chairs the Council. And NATO’s new Strategic Concept, adopted in June, defines “Russia’s ability to disrupt allied cooperation and freedom of navigation” in the High North as a “strategic challenge.” Therefore, “the United States and NATO will continue to improve their defense capabilities to prevent Russia from harassing their military and commercial aircraft and ships in and around the Arctic, and to preserve the Alliance’s ability to carry out plans to strengthen its northern and eastern flanks in wartime,” writes Project Syndicate.

Russia’s withdrawal from the Arctic Council is becoming inevitable.

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