NEWSLINK: “Little cash for Russia’s new Arctic development program; Ambitions are sky-high, but much hinges on private investments” – The Independent Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

“… The new Russian Arctic program has undergone major revision since the Ministry of Economic Development was commissioned to make a draft. The Ministry first proposed to allocated 209 billion rubles (€3.1 billion) of state cash to program implementation. Later, the sum was reduced to only 12 billion rubles (€177 million). Originally, the program was to cover the period until […]

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Kennan Cable No.24: Russian Foreign Policy in the Arctic: Balancing Cooperation and Competition

Arctic Map

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Stacy R. Closson, Assistant Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky – June 26, 2017) Introduction The Arctic region presents a particularly interesting case study of Russian foreign policy. In a time when Russia is showing renewed aggression on three fronts – the Baltic Sea region, Syria, and Ukraine – and meddling in […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Why does ExxonMobil need Russia’s Arctic region? Even though the price of extracting oil in the Arctic is very expensive, ExxonMobil still wants to strengthen its position in the Russian market.”

Arctic Map

“The U.S. Government will not give the green light to oil major ExxonMobil Corporation and other American companies that seek to drill in areas covered by U.S. sanctions against Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on April 21. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue international forum. [excerpts re Putin]

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin is taking part in the filurth international forum The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue. The forum’s theme this year is People and the Arctic. The participants are discussing ways to improve the quality of life in the Arctic, maintain its unique environmental potential, boost sustainable socioeconomic development of the Arctic regions and strengthen international […]

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Russia Can Wait for $70 Oil Before Re-Entering Arctic Waters

Arctic Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva, Dina Khrennikova – March 29, 2017) Russia can wait for a sustained recovery in oil prices before drilling again in Arctic waters, relying for now on less costly regions even as rival producer Norway accelerates development of its northerly fields. “We estimate production costs for the Russian Arctic offshore in the range of $70 […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting on Arctic region’s comprehensive development

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 29, 2017) In the course of his trip to Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Archipelago Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the comprehensive development of the Arctic region. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergei Donskoy, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Special Presidential Representative for Nature Protection, the Environment, and Transport […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Melting glaciers threaten to inundate Russia’s Far North and Siberia”

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Scientists say that the melting permafrost and the cryosphere’s destruction might lead to massive flooding in the Arctic and Siberian regions of Russia in the next 20 years, as well as foster the resuscitation of dormant pathogens and the destruction of vital infrastructure. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLGA DOBROVIDOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 14, 2017) Maria […]

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How Tillerson Could Fuel A Russian Arctic Drilling Boom

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 23, 2017) Robert Berke is an energy financial analyst with experience as a government consultant to the State of Alaska. It’s now clear to nearly everyone that U.S. President Trump intends to seek warmer U.S. relations with Russia, while putting China and Iran relations in the deep freezer. Trump has made no secret of […]

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RBTH: A welcome cold war: Russia and the U.S. fight to protect polar bears

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

In late 2016, Russia and the U.S. jointly studied 180 polar bears living along the border of Alaska and Chukotka. Their findings will help develop a three-year plan to save the species. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAM TER-GHAZARYAN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 10, 2017) The Wrangel Island Reserve in the Chukchi Sea has one of the […]

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Could Tillerson Open Up The Russian Arctic For Exxon Again?

Arctic Map

(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – December 16, 2016) If the ExxonMobil CEO is confirmed as the new U.S. Secretary of State, the evolving relationship between Russia and the United States will take an interesting turn. Rex Tillerson could be in a position to hand his former company a major victory if he helps orchestrate a removal of U.S. sanctions on […]

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Russia’s Largest Problem: Permafrost Lies beneath Two-Thirds of Its Territory and Two-Thirds of That Will Melt This Century

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 14, 2016) The Russian government says it will invest 80 billion US dollars in developing Russia’s Far North between now and 2030, money it does not yet have (profile.ru/economics/item/111568-5-trillionov). But the biggest barrier to achieving its goals may not be financial stringencies but the impact of global warming. According to Russian […]

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Russia: the tinderbox in the struggle for a safe climate

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

Russia is at the forefront of the global climate change struggle. We ignore it at our peril. (opendemocracy.net – Daniel Voskoboynik – September 20, 2016) Daniel Voskoboynik is a journalist and campaigner covering human rights, ecology and migration. The Russian region of Yamal rarely makes global headlines. Despite being larger than France, its remote location bordering the Arctic Circle holds […]

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Why Arctic Oil Is Crucial For Russia’s Future

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – August 23, 2016) The Arctic – a cold wasteland that has shattered the expansion dreams of many an oil company by proving to be too difficult and too expensive to tackle. And, of course, Arctic exploration is the target of major environmentalist opposition to any intervention in this wasteland that is in fact home to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s melting ice could release more threats to humanity” – AFP

Arctic Map

Anthrax, small pox and giant viruses – Russian scientists are warning of a host of threats that could be unleashed on the world as global warming melts the frozen far north …. A recent anthrax outbreak on the Yamal peninsula left a child dead, 23 people infected and the government scrambling … The most likely source of the epidemic was […]

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The Kremlin’s Arctic Plans: More Gutted than Grand

Arctic Map

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Sergei Medvedev, Professor of Politics; Deputy Dean for International Affairs Higher School of Economics, Moscow – June 7, 2016) Article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/memo/kremlin-arctic-plans-more-gutted-grand Over the past decade, Russia has launched a diplomatic and symbolic offensive in the Arctic, supported by increased military activity, grandiose economic plans, and showy assertions of sovereignty. Russian officials have […]

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TRANSCRIPT: DIA Statement for the Record – Worldwide Threat Assessment [excerpt re Russia]

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Armed Services Committee, United States Senate – Vincent R. Stewart, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency – February 9, 2016) RUSSIA Moscow continues to devote major resources to modernizing its military forces, viewing military power as critical to achieving key strategic objectives: acknowledged great power status, dominating smaller regional states and deterring NATO from military action in […]

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Arctic winter temperature rose 3 degrees since 1990

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Interfax – December 8, 2015) The average Arctic winter temperature has risen three degrees Celsius since 1990, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy told a seventh High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air coalition. The average ice cover in the Arctic sea has halved since 1980, he said. “Already this region is characterized by a three-degree […]

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Interfax: Russia, U.S. cooperating in telecommunications, environmental issues, access to drinking water in Arctic

Arctic Map

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russia and the United States are cooperating in spheres of mutual interest in the Arctic Council, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador at Large, senior official in the Arctic Council Vladimir Barbin has said. “Speaking of the U.S. program, they have lots of projects Russia is interested in […]. Naturally, we will be cooperating with them,” Barbin […]

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Is Russia The King Of Arctic Oil By Default?

Arctic Map

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – October 22, 2015) To be king implies preeminence, or lasting rule. In the Arctic, such oil and gas supremacy is still little more than a dream. That dream remains alive in Russia however, and the nation – through an unmatched stubbornness and a decidedly timid field of competitors – is making a strong bid for […]

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New research shows the Arctic is warming faster than previously believed

Arctic Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yana Pchelintseva, special to RBTH – September 11, 2015) Russian scientists have found about 700 “methane holes” in the Arctic shelf. The scale of emissions shows that the permafrost has degraded severely, and researchers think the thawing is irreversible. A team of Russian scientists spent over 20 years examining thermokarst lakes – bodies […]

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RBTH: Russia waits on U.N. response over claim to extend Arctic borders

Arctic Map

After 14 years, Moscow is renewing an effort to claim a vast territory on the outer margin of the continental shelf abutting Russia’s land mass in the Arctic. What are the economic benefits of acquiring the legal rights to this underwater area and is Russia’s claim likely to be approved? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH […]

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RBTH: The battle for Arctic heats up

Arctic Map

Russian scientists say their new model for the Arctic’s tectonic evolution shows that the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges are part of the Eurasian mainland. This apparently substantiates Russia’s claim to 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea shelf. At stake is control over vast natural resources, and opposition from western nations is almost certain. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – […]

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Why Putin Is Losing

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 10, 2015) Are little green men about to appear on the North Pole? Russia’s claim last week, using an extremely creative interpretation of international law, to exclusive economic rights to nearly half a million square miles of the Arctic Sea, was certainly a head scratcher. Sure the territory is valuable due to […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: As the Arctic Thaws, New Temptations

Arctic Map

The New York Times comments on Russia’s attempt to use the United Nations to expand Russian territory in the Arctic, accompanied by expanded Russian military activity in the region. As the Arctic rapidly thaws and surrenders access to its awesome wealth of energy and precious minerals, it is inevitable that nations in the far north will stake claims over huge […]

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NEWSLINK Alaska Dispatch News: Russia and US must maintain Arctic relations in an interconnected world

Arctic Map

Russia is in the news, again. NATO ministers continue to discuss how to upgrade their response capabilities to contain Russia, an increasingly unpredictable neighbor, and Pentagon officials advise Congress that Russia is a primary military threat. All the meanwhile, President Putin ramps up his military modernization effort. Could this finally be the end of strong Russia-U.S. cooperation in the one […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: Russia’s vast Arctic gas project aims to avoid Ukraine deep freeze

Arctic Map

Spread across the frozen whiteness of the Russian Arctic, the ambitious $27 billion Yamal gas megaproject aims to defy both the extreme temperatures and the Ukraine crisis impacting its funding. Some 2,500 kilometres (1,600 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Yamal site — a joint venture by Russia’s Novatek, France’s Total and China’s CNPC — is eventually meant be one of […]

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Two of Russia’s Greatest Misfortunes – Roads and Fools – Once Again Come Together

Map of North Polar Region with Real or Hypothetical Rail Lines Across Eurasia, Bering Strait, North America

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 24, 2015) Even though the Russian government currently repairs less than one percent of its horrific roads in many regions, Moscow has announced plans to build a superhighway and rail line extending across the Russian north to the Bering Straits and a tunnel to Alaska, a project in which enormous sums will […]

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Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Core Elements Unchanged

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 2 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 6, 2015) President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new Military Doctrine in the context of the Ukraine crisis, deteriorating relations with the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as shifts within the international security environment. […]

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Will Western Sanctions Stop Russia’s Arctic Oil Expansion?

Arctic Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 9, 2014) Igor Sechin, the most influential figure in Russia’s energy industry, announced last week that a new oil field discovered in the Arctic was to be christened “Pobeda” – the Russian word for victory. Speaking to reporters from a blustery drilling platform, the Kremlin heavyweight, who also heads state-owned oil […]

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Re: South shore of the Kola peninsula

Map of Russia

Subject: South shore of the Kola peninsual Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2014 14:09:31 -0500 From: William Brumfield <william.brumfield@gmail.com> David, below is announcement for the latest in my RBTH series. A stunning part of northwest Russia. Regards, William —— My current article for Russia beyond the Headlines is devoted to the south shore of the Kola Peninsula. Located near the Arctic […]

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Business New Europe: Sanctions aim at Russia’s Arctic push

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Joe Parson in Moscow – August 21, 2014) US and EU sanctions are threatening to derail a monster exploration and production project in the Russian Arctic between state-owned Rosneft and US oil major ExxonMobil. The threat is not that Washington will pressure US companies to pull out of Russian deals. Rather, the latest round […]

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Exxon’s $900 Billion Arctic Prize at Risk After Ukraine

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – April 29, 2014) Exxon Mobil (XOM) Corp.’s dream of drilling in the Russian Arctic may risk running aground on the politics of Ukraine. The company plans to start drilling in August in the Arctic’s remote Kara Sea — the centerpiece of Exxon’s global alliance with Russian state-controlled OAO Rosneft. (ROSN) The partnership, which […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Has Sufficient Data to Prove Arctic Claim – Scientist

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – In the past decade, Russian scientists have gathered enough scientific evidence to substantiate the country’s territorial claim for hydrocarbon-rich areas of the Arctic shelf, a leading Russian scientist said Tuesday. Valery Vernikovsky of the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics said a UN commission rejected Russia’s previous claim in the early 2000s […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Who controls the Arctic?

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrey Gubin, special to RBTH – April 23, 2014) Andrey Gubin is the head of research programs at the Asia-Pacific Center of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. International competition for control over Arctic resources is only a matter of time, says researcher Andrey Gubin. The Arctic has recently gained a new significance […]

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Changes in Regulations Could Help Break the Offshore Ice

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – February 3, 2014) State-controlled oil giant Rosneft had a very good year. That is what company chief executive Igor Sechin told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday at a meeting to review Russia’s largest oil producer, whose capitalization grew by 18 percent to $73 billion at the end of 2013. Sechin’s optimism […]

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Russian Navy to Expand Air Patrols in Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Combat aircraft from Russia’s Northern Fleet will extend the ranges of their patrol flights over the Arctic in 2014 using a network of revamped Soviet-era airfields, the fleet’s spokesman said Friday. “In 2014, the naval aviation of the Northern Fleet will significantly expand the geography of Arctic patrol flights, including with the use of […]

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Exxon Russia Ambitions Show Oil Trumps Obama-Putin Spats: Energy

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – January 2, 2014) As Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin argue over human rights in Russia and the fate of fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the countries’ biggest oil companies are preparing to drill for giant discoveries together in the Arctic Ocean. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and OAO Rosneft (ROSN) are set to […]

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Russia to study Arctic oil, gas prospects in shelf border extension

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) – Russia is looking to study oil and gas prospects as it prepares to extend its Arctic shelf borders. Subsurface resources agency Rosnedra has already announced – on the state procurement portal – a tender for the selection of an outfit to evaluate the prospects of oil and gas fields on Russia’s continental shelf beyond the […]

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Seven Greenpeace Activists Allowed to Leave Russia

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 26, 2013) As the last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest   received notification Thursday that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international activists who’d already been granted amnesty received permission to leave Russia. The news marks the end of a saga that […]

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Interfax: Russia won’t give away North Pole – Chilingarov

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

TULA. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Russia will not give the North Pole to countries, which have claimed their rights to it, polar explorer, Federation Council member Artur Chilingarov said. “We will not give the North Pole to anyone. Canada’s claims for the North Pole are nothing but an ambition,” he said at a Tula meeting dedicated to the Constitution Day […]

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Russian military returns to the Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – December 12, 2013) Russia intends to deploy a military force on its northern coast to engage in the fight for control over promising oil and gas reserves in the Arctic Ocean. Russia will send a military force to be set up in the Artic next year in order to […]

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NEWSLINK: Rushing for the Arctic’s Riches

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

[Rushing for the Arctic’s Riches – New York Times – Michael T. Klare – December 8, 2013 – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/rushing-for-the-arctics-riches.html] Michael Klare and the New York Times address Russia’s temptation to exploit Arctic energy resources: While many existing oil and gas reserves in other parts of the world are facing steep decline, the Arctic is thought to possess vast untapped reservoirs. […]

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Interfax: Margelov: Russia needs sufficient potential to defend its geopolitical interests in Arctic

Mikhail Margelov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Russia must be prepared to confront international rivalry in the Arctic, which is a priority of its geopolitical agenda, Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov told Interfax. “This is a topical agenda considering the expected effects of global warming on the Arctic zone. It is necessary to maintain the combat potential of the […]

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40 Years On, Polar Bears and Threats to Their Habitat are Multiplying

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – December 5, 2013) Environment ministers and delegations from the five countries bordering the Arctic met in Moscow on Wednesday to voice continuing support for polar bear conservation and outline steps for saving the species, which activists and officials say is increasingly vulnerable to the effects of global warming and resource extraction. Representatives […]

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RIA Novosti: Polar Bear Population Could Drop Two-Thirds by 2050 – Minister

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) ­ The number of polar bears in the Arctic could drop by two-thirds by 2050 because of poaching, pollution and global warming, Russia’s natural resources and ecology minister said Wednesday. Speaking at the International Forum on the Conservation of Polar Bears, Sergei Donskoi said that active industrial development in the Arctic in recent decades is […]

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Interfax: Militarization of Arctic region is overdramatized – Russian experts

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) – Experts of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) see no reason to speak about the militarization or a threat of military confrontation in the Arctic region. “This is taken as part of usual measures of each state to ensure its interests, including the military element,” RIAC president Igor Ivanov told a news conference in Moscow […]

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RIA Novosti: Last Imprisoned Greenpeace Activist Granted Bail in Russia

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) ­ The last of the Greenpeace activists arrested in Russia over a September protest at an Arctic oil rig was granted bail Thursday by a St. Petersburg court. The court set bail for Colin Russell from Australia at 2 million rubles ($60,000), the same condition set for the other 29 crew members, who were all […]

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