Russland has warned the West against claiming ownership in the Arctic. “For a long time it has been perfectly clear to everyone that this is our territory, this is our country,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Monday. Russia is responsible for the “security of the Arctic coast”, emphasized the minister, a few days before a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council, to which the eight countries bordering the Arctic belong.
Due to global warming, the Arctic is becoming more and more accessible. This increases the interest of the neighboring countries, but also China, in the region – because of the strategic location, the natural resources of the North Pole and because of the shipping routes.
The Arctic Council includes Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. They meet in Reykjavik on Wednesday and Thursday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russia last month not to “take advantage” of the changes caused by climate change. In recent years Russia has invested in its military infrastructure and in the extraction of natural resources in the Arctic.
In June, NATO also discussed the increasing Russian presence in the Arctic. Other countries such as the United States and Norway are also making claims on the vast oil and gas reserves at the North Pole.