Friday, March 19, 2010
2007 joke about Russia claiming the Arctic Sea Bottom is suddenly not so funny!
Putin's Arctic invasion: Russia lays claim to the North Pole and all its gas oil and diamonds
Anyway, I wanted to discuss that in 2007 when Russia declared that it had successfully planted their flag at the bottom of the Artic claiming it as Russian territory Russia was disturbed that Canada the US and others dismissed it as a joke saying that is worthless in the 21st Century. Myself I wasn't as sure as it seems like a scary ratcheting up of the race for future resources and world domination. Well attitudes are changing when recent events are taken into account.
It has been noted that Russian nostalgia for past greatness has been seen stretching from the North Pole to the Mediterranean via the Caucasus. First the Russians planted a flag on the bottom of the Arctic. Then they promised to return to the Mediterranean. You know what went on with Georgia, That the three events came close together may be a coincidence. That they all testify to Russia's new assertiveness is not.
The row with Georgia is not the only source of anxiety for its neighbours. Russia's naval commander proposed "to restore its permanent presence" in the Mediterranean, using the Baltic and Black Sea fleets. For years a Russian naval base in Syria has been standing empty. The return of their ships to Syria is a dream of Russia's admirals and a nightmare for Israel, which fears renewed Russian co-operation with Syria.
Russia's Mediterranean plans pale in comparison with its audacious foray into the Arctic where they collected soil samples and planted the Russian flag two and a half miles below the sea. The official purpose of this first-ever manned mission was "to prove that the North Pole is an extension of the Russian coastal shelf." Geologists say the region could have big oil, gas and mineral reserves.
Knowing that the Artic features prominently in Russian Imperial mythology and the rising desire for Russia to regain prominence as a world power you have to be very concerned about this and Canada now is. Canada's prime minister went on a three-day trip to the Arctic in an effort to assert sovereignty over the region a week after Russia symbolically staked a claim to the North Pole by sending submarines.
Five countries -- Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway and Denmark -- are competing to secure subsurface rights to the Arctic seabed. One study by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas. PM Harper, who has pledged to spend billions defending Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic, is expected to announce the location of a planned military deep water port later in the week.
"Economic development -- unleashing the resource-based potential of the North, environmental protection -- protecting the unique Northern environment, national sovereignty -- protecting our land, airspace and territorial waters.
" In response to the building interest in the shelf Canada's PM Harper announced that six to eight new patrol ships would be built to guard the Northwest Passage sea route in the Arctic, which the United States insists does not belong to Canada. Canadian PM vows in 2007 to defend Arctic*
U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins had criticized Harper's promise to defend the Arctic, calling the Northwest Passage "neutral waters." This is all very troubling as we watch the ratcheting up of tensions around the world as we try to move into the future. The increased militarism around the world is tenuous but throw all the recent developments in with what is shaping up to be a fight over the Arctic and its resources which will only serve to ecologically destroy another very important part of the Ocean's and world's ecosystem in what is increasingly appearing