Uniqueness: Russia’s expanding its sphere of ocean influence



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Arctic Development

Russia increasing arctic development now


Makuch, Canadian News Correspondent, 7/3/14

[Ben, Motherboard, “Canada and Russia's Race for Arctic Oil Is Getting Serious,” http://motherboard.vice.com/read/canada-and-russias-race-for-arctic-oil-is-heating-up, accessed July 8, 2014, EK]

When it comes to the Arctic, Vladimir Putin and Stephen Harper see eye to eye on one thing: it’s a vast melting wonderland full of oil that’s ripe for the taking. Who gets what is a matter of international debate and for the first time since tensions between both countries began in December 2013 over disputed land claims in the North Pole, the conflict has militarized.

CBC News is reporting that the aging F-18s Canada is looking to replace with F-35s were sent on at least two missions in June to intercept Russian Tu-95 heavy bombers cruising too close to Canadian Arctic airspace. Testing the Canadian forces is widely seen as a provocative move by Putin’s government, showing how serious he takes Canadian aggression over Ukraine.

When I asked National Defence about the interceptions they referred me to Minister Rob Nicholson’s comments in the House of Commons. “I can confirm to the House that, yes, we continue to see Russian military activity in the Arctic,” he said, staying on script and offering few details about the interceptions. “The Canadian Armed Forces remain ready and able to respond and, in fact, the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s were dispatched in recent days in response to Russian aircraft movements.”

Those “aircraft movements” are no doubt a message to Harper, who made it his mission to denounce and sanction the Putin regime following the invasion of Crimea. Harper issued travel bans to several key members of Putin’s retinue, expelled a Russian diplomat, and sanctioned Russian business entities. One of his ministers compared Putin's actions to Hitler's.



With a potential treasure trove of 90 billion barrels of oil sitting untapped in the North Pole, and almost 1,700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, there’s no wonder Canada and Russia, two of the biggest petrol-peddlers in the world, are territorial over the mostly uninhabitable landmass.



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