Moscow | Russia’s foreign minister said Monday that the Arctic was Russia’s area of influence, and that Western nations had warned of their intentions in the region just days before a major regional forum.
“We see criticism that Russia is expanding its military operations in the Arctic. But it has long been clear to everyone that we are responsible for the security of our land, our territory, our coastline and everything we do there is absolutely legitimate and legitimate,” Sergei Lavrov said in a speech. Meeting.
“When NATO tried to justify its attack on the Arctic, it was not the same situation and we have questions for our neighbors like Norway who are trying to justify the Alliance’s entry into the Arctic,” he said.
The announcement comes two days before the start of a growing Arctic Council meeting on economic and geopolitical greed involving Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland.
Ahead of the summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in June, the head of the United States embassy, Anthony Blinken, will also meet with Sergei Lavrov for the first time.
Regarding the Arctic, Lavrov suggested the resumption of regular meetings between staff chiefs of the Council’s member states “to reduce losses at the military level”.
In recent years Russia has continued to increase its military presence in its Arctic territories, reopening and modernizing many bases and airfields abandoned since the end of the Soviet era. It also deployed its state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems there.
Russia’s interests diverge with its regional neighbors, including the United States, which this year sent strategic bombers to train in Norway and last year deployed ships in a special economic zone over the Barents Sea. From Russia.
President Vladimir Putin has given strategic priority to the economic exploitation of the Arctic, especially by creating a sea route along the far north coast to connect Europe with Asia and compete with the Canal du Suez.
This sea route plays a growing role in international trade, thanks to global warming and ice melting.