July 26, 2007

Russia wants North Pole

As a prime example of the kind of conduct I referred to in an earlier post, Russia has provoked an international outcry after announcing it will claim much of the Arctic Circle.

Moscow has just launched a sub on an unprecedented expedition as part of Russia's efforts to assert territorial claims well north of its Arctic coast in territory thought to contain significant oil, gas and other reserves.

To think, they plan to plant a titanium flag on the seabed!

"The Arctic is ours and we should demonstrate our presence," the expedition's 67-year-old leader, the explorer and member of parliament Artur Chilingarov, said on television. Chilingarov, fellow parliamentarian Vladimir Gruzdev and scientist Anatoly Sagalevich aim to descend in the Mir submersible vehicle 4,200 metres (14,000 feet) to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean beneath the pole.

Organisers even have a tentative plan for a telephone link-up with the International Space Station from the seabed.

On Thursday the nuclear-powered ice-breaker Rossiya, designed to cut through heavy ice at speed, set off for the pole from the Barents Sea port of Murmansk.

Once on the seabed the three men on board the Mir will carry out scientific experiments and probes and will leave behind a Russian flag and a capsule containing a message for future generations, Sagalevich said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper.

Chilingarov said the expedition would help advance Russia's Arctic claims, which are disputed by other countries, including the United States.

We know understand what Putin meant when back in May, he called for greater efforts to secure Russia's "strategic, economic, scientific and defence interests" in the Arctic.

See also: Russia stirring

Links: Russia claims much of arctic

Share and recommend: Digg it


2 comments:

Incognito said...

Ha... going back to their imperalist roots... hmmm.
very interesting!

American Interests said...

Imperialist is an apt term incognito, we are dealing with a newly assertive Russia!

Moscow's foreign policy is increasingly driven by the belief that major world powers are seeking to constrain the rise of its influence ... On three occasions in just two months President Vladimir Putin has harshly criticized the U.S. for "hegemonic behavior," "neo-imperialism" and provoking an arms race.

At present, Russia's interpretation of the U.S. is that it is weak and vulnerable on account of internal political squabbling over Iraq. They are wrong and in time, Washington will address the growing overtures of the former superpower in no uncertain diplomatic terms. Watch and see...