Putin calls for fair play in the Arctic

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he wants to see the Arctic as a region free from geopolitical rivalries. (Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he wants to see the Arctic as a region free from geopolitical rivalries. (Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS)
Let’s not play geopolitical games in this area, the Russian president says.

“I am convinced that the Arctic should be reinforced as a space for open and equal dialogue based on the principles of universal and indivisible security in which there is no place for geopolitical games of military blocs, backroom agreements and divisions of spheres of influence,” the Russian president said in a greeting to this week’s Arctic conference organized by the Russian Security Council.

The address, quoted by Izvestia, comes as the Russian Security Council is hosting distinguished guests from Russia and abroad onboard the icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory). The conference will take place as the powerful vessel makes its way along Russia’s eastern Arctic coast, from Anadyr to Pevek.

On board are representatives of member states, as well as observer states of the Arctic Council, the Security Council informs.

On the agenda are issues of legal, organizational, technological and logistical aspects of Arctic shipping, as well as questions of tourism, international cooperation and environmental security, the Council says.

The conference is part of an annual event devoted to Arctic issues. The Russian delegation is headed by Security Council leader Nikolay Patrushev. The voyage takes places from Aug. 30 to Sept.1.

The event is organized as Russia is about to complete the construction and upgrades of its new Arctic military bases. Among them is the base at Mys Schmidta (Cape Schmidt), a sea port and air force site located about 400 km east of Pevek.

Russia is also in the process of re-establishing a motorized infantry division in the Chukchi region.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s defence review and the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  Report: Russia now a greater threat to Finland, Yle News

Norway:  Norway calls snap military drill in Arctic, after Russian announcement, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  New Russian spy ship to keep tabs on Norway, Barents Observer

Sweden:  New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. general says Alaska military cuts not final without Arctic plan, Alaska Public Radio Network

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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