Putin Wants Beefed-up Presence in the Arctic

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Photo: Rear Admiral Harley D. Nygren, NOAA Corps (ret.). Courtesy NOAA

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia should step up its presence in the Arctic and challenge other nations in exploring the world's largest untapped natural reserves, days after it started shipping its first oil from the region.

Russia's ambitions in the Arctic have for some time been raising eyebrows among other states vying for a presence there, but the Kremlin's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula is likely to put its Arctic plans under greater scrutiny.

Russia has staked its future economic growth on developing the Arctic's vast energy resources and reviving a Soviet-era shipping route through the ice.

The United States, Denmark and Norway are also pressing for access to what they consider their fair share of the Arctic's massive oil and natural gas reserves.

Russia loaded its first crude tanker from an oil platform in the Pechora Sea last week.

"Over decades, step by step, Russia has built up, strengthened its positions in the Arctic," Putin told a meeting of his Security Council in the Kremlin. "And our goal is not only to regain them, but also to qualitatively strengthen them."

Moscow and the West are in the middle of their worst standoff since the Cold War. The row centres on Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Last year Putin ordered the reopening of a Soviet-era Arctic military base in the Novosibirsk Islands, two decades after abandoning it, and Moscow has sent 10 warships and four nuclear-powered ice breakers there in a demonstration of force.

"More often the interests of the Arctic powers, and not only them, cross here - countries that are far away from this region are also expressing interest (in the Arctic)," he said.

"In these conditions we must take additional measures not to fall behind our partners, to keep our influence in the region and in some aspects be ahead of our partners."

Russia, Canada and Denmark all say an underwater mountain range, known as the Lomonosov Ridge, which stretches 1,800 km (1,120 miles) across the pole under the Arctic Sea, is part of their own landmass. China, the world's No 2 economy, has expressed interest in the Arctic shipping route.

Last week Russia loaded its first oil tanker at the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Arctic. The area is seen by Moscow as a source of fuel that can gradually replace output from its depleting West Siberian fields.

The launch has long been delayed because of cost overruns and technical difficulties. Thirty Greenpeace activists received jail sentences last year after protesting against drilling at the platform. They were released after an international outcry.

Putin on Tuesday deflected environmental concerns by saying that Moscow will stick to "international environmental safety regulations in the region."

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

News

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

People in the News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Arctic Operations

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

Yamal LNG Arctic Project in Doldrums

The massive $27 billion Yamal LNG liquefied-natural-gas venture in the Arctic Circle, a centerpiece of President Vladimir Putin’s plan for Russia has been squeezed by U.

US Navy Sub Completes Arctic Deployment

Fast-attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) returned to its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton August 21, following a six-month Arctic deployment during which

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4847 sec (2 req/sec)