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Archive for the ‘Arctic’ Category

Russia sets new world record in the conquest of the North Pole

Posted by Kris Roman on April 27, 2009

yemelya-1A new record in the exploration of the Arctic was set on Sunday (April 26) when wheeled cars reached the geographical North Pole. No one has ever been able to do it before.

 

Two Russian-made Yemelya experimental vehicles have traveled over 1,100 kilometers across drift ice of the Arctic and reached the North Pole.

“This victory is the result of two years of our training to have the vehicles ready for the severe Arctic conditions. We also did the profound analysis of previous Russian missions to the north,” the leader of the ice mission Vasily Yelagin told Itar-Tass.

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Arctic Wars Set To Heat Up Part Four

Posted by Kris Roman on March 10, 2009

arctic-surrounding-countries-bgby Martin Sieff

Global warming doesn’t just mean there will be new patterns of mass migration, wars and border lawlessness in the 21st century. For the great climate change isn’t affecting just the warmest parts of the world; it’s also affecting areas that used to be the coldest.

 

The great Arctic Ocean polar ice cap is already melting. The Arctic Ocean could be navigable year-round within decades. The rate of melting of the ice cap, scientists say, is actually accelerating. This may completely transform the strategic resource map of the world.

For the seabed of the arctic, especially the continental shelf north of Russia, is believed to be a fresh treasure trove of oil, natural gas and precious minerals. They were all inaccessible throughout history because the severe cold weather and the great ice cap made geological prospecting, let alone extraction, virtually impossible. But thanks to global warming, that is changing fast.

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Arctic time bomb set for 2020?

Posted by Kris Roman on March 4, 2009

 

The flagship of Russia’s polar fleet, “Akademik Fyodorov”, is due to return to St. Petersburg at the end of a 40-day expedition to the Arctic. It’s the same vessel that a year ago rekindled Russia’s presence in the region with its ground-breaking survey of the North Pole seabed.

According to Jane’s International Defence Review (IDR) magazine, by 2020 fossil fuels could heat up conflicts over the ice-cold plains of the North Pole.

As the ice caps melt and the vast recourses located at the top the world become more accessible, the stakes could be raised.

Well, the worst case scenario will be some kind of conflict in the Arctic, in particular driven by the high price of oil and gas, said Christian Le Miere, IDRs Managing Editor. If countries find themselves in need of these resources they may be forced or compelled to act in a military fashion.

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Russia seeks to claim Artic territory

Posted by Kris Roman on March 4, 2009

 

map_np_russiaRussian geologists say they have data that would support a claim to about 1.2m sq km (463,000 sq miles) of energy-rich territory in the Arctic.

Russia has not staked a formal claim to that area – which is the size of France, Germany and Italy combined, Russian media report.The geologists spent 45 days studying the Lomonosov underwater ridge.The Law of the Sea Convention allows states an economic zone of 200 nautical miles, which can sometimes be expanded.To extend the zone, a state has to prove that the structure of the continental shelf is similar to the geological structure within its territory.

At the moment, nobody’s shelf extends up to the North Pole, so there is an international area around the Pole administered by the International Seabed Authority.

The Russian team, from the Oceanology Research Institute in St Petersburg, estimates that the Lomonosov ridge area in the Arctic contains oil and gas reserves of up to 10bn tonnes.

 

 

Russia needs to mark its Arctic territory

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Russian nuclear submarine makes 30-day trip under Arctic ice

Posted by Kris Roman on September 30, 2008

 

A Russian Delta-III class ballistic missile submarine has successfully sailed from a naval base in northern Russia to the Pacific Ocean under the Arctic ice floe, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The Ryazan strategic nuclear submarine arrived at a naval base on the Kamchatka Peninsula after a more than 30-day underwater trip,” Capt. 1st rank Igor Dygalo said.

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Arctic resources central to Russia’s energy security – Medvedev

Posted by Kris Roman on September 17, 2008

 

The Russian president said Wednesday that the use of Arctic resources was central to the country’s energy security.

“According to estimates by experts, the Arctic shelf may have about one-fourth of the world’s shelf hydrocarbon reserves, and the use of these reserves is a guarantee of Russia’s overall energy security,” Dmitry Medvedev said at a Russian Security Council session.

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Russian Navy resumes military presence near Spitsbergen

Posted by Kris Roman on July 16, 2008

The Russian Navy has resumed a military presence around the Arctic Ocean archipelago of Spitsbergen, which belongs to Norway, a navy statement said on Monday.
“Russia’s fleet has resumed a warship presence in the Arctic, including in the area of Spitsbergen,” the statement said.

Russia does not recognize Norway’s exclusive right to the 200-mile economic zone near Spitsbergen.

The statement also said that “the large ASW ship, Severomorsk, has already entered the area to fulfill its tasks.” It will be joined, starting from July 17, by the Marshal Ustinov, a Russian Slava-class missile cruiser.

According to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an exclusive economic zone extends for 200 nautical miles (370 km) beyond the baselines of a country’s territorial sea.

A coastal nation has control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining and oil exploration.

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Russian navy boosts combat presence in Arctic

Posted by Kris Roman on July 16, 2008

The Russian Navy on Monday said it was boosting its combat presence in the Arctic, including near the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, amid increased international interest in the region.
“The Russian Navy has restored the presence of combat ships of the Northern Fleet in the Arctic region, including in the region of Spitsbergen,” the Navy said in a statement.

Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo was unable to say the last time combat ships were in the region, but described the latest patrols as part of a “significant expansion of the activities of the Northern Fleet.”

The anti-submarine ship Severomorsk is already in the area and will be joined by rocket cruiser Marshal Ustinov later this week, the statement said.

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Russia’s Putin tours new rig in Arctic oil drive

Posted by Kris Roman on July 16, 2008

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday toured a new Arctic oil rig that is being built to boost Moscow’s position in an intensifying competition for northern energy reserves.
Putin also met ministers and top oil executives at the Severodvinsk shipyard to discuss prospects for developing more Arctic fields which are estimated to contain up to a quarter of Russia’s oil and gas reserves as well as other untold resource riches.

“The Arctic zone is a guarantee of Russia’s economic power. Oil, gas, gold, diamonds and phosphates — it’s all there,” Artur Chilingarov, a member of parliament who is also an Arctic explorer, told AFP before the meeting.

“We need to find new oil fields … We need to go offshore,” he said.

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Arctic region likely to become the center of World War III

Posted by Kris Roman on June 13, 2008

Global warming may take the struggle for the division of the Arctic region to the boiling point. The resources of the region will soon become available for mining. About 20-25 percent of world’s crude and natural gas reserves are located on the Arctic shelf, experts say. In addition, Greenland gradually comes out of its ice anabiosis. It is not ruled out that this land will become independent on Denmark to turn into a large oil-mining country.

An international conference with the participation of ministers of five Arctic states – the USA, Russia, Norway, Denmark and Canada, took place last week in the town of Ilulissat, Greenland. The conference was held to discuss the rules of dividing the Arctic. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of world’s oceans. However, the Arctic region, which does not belong to any country, is obviously a tidbit for many. Some experts even say that the next world war will start in the Arctic.

The participants of the conference attempted to pretend that everything is quiet in the Arctic region. The joint declaration of the ministers, which was approved following the results of the meeting, said that the countries did not see a need in elaborating the new international regime to administer the Arctic Ocean. The officials only promised to accordingly observe the development of the situation in the Arctic Ocean.

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Russian strategic bombers complete 20-hour patrol over Arctic

Posted by Kris Roman on June 10, 2008

Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have successfully completed a 20-hour patrol flight over the Arctic, a spokesman for Russia’s Air Force said on Tuesday.

“After completing an almost 20-hour flight, the crews returned to the airbase in Engels. During air patrols, the Russian planes were accompanied by NATO fighters,” Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said, adding that the aircraft practiced midair refueling.

Drik said Monday that a pair of Tu-95s had taken off from the Engels airbase near Saratov in southern Russia for a routine patrol flight over the Arctic Ocean.

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Russian Navy to expand presence in Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific

Posted by Kris Roman on June 10, 2008

Russia’s Defense Ministry is planning to expand the presence of the Russian Navy in the world’s oceans and extend the operational radius of submarines deployed with the Northern Fleet, a high-ranking military official said on Tuesday.

“The summer training program [running from June 1 to December 1] envisions the increased presence of the Russian Navy, not only in the Atlantic, but also in the Arctic and the Pacific,” said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, who heads the Defense Ministry’s combat training directorate.

“We are also planning to increase the operational radius of the Northern Fleet’s submarines,” he said, adding that the General Staff would determine the new composition and size of the Armed Forces by the beginning of July.

The general said that Russia may shift the focus of its military strategy toward the northern latitudes in order to protect its national interests in the Arctic, especially on its continental shelf, which may contain large deposits of oil and natural gas.

“We have a number of highly-professional military units in the Leningrad, Siberian and Far Eastern military districts, which are specifically trained for combat in Arctic regions,” Shamanov said.

Under the Law of the Sea, coastal states hold sovereignty over a zone of 200 nautical mile (370 km) limit, but this area can be extended if it is a part of the country’s continental shelf or shallower waters. Some Arctic shelves extend for hundreds of miles, creating a possibility of overlapping territorial claims.

Last August, as part of a scientific expedition, two Russian mini-subs made a symbolic eight-hour dive beneath the North Pole to bolster the country’s claim that the Arctic’s Lomonosov Ridge lies in the country’s economic zone. A titanium Russian flag was also planted on the seabed. Russia first claimed the territory in 2001, but the UN demanded more evidence.

The expedition irritated a number of Western countries, particularly Canada.

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North Russian governor wants stronger focus on Arctic

Posted by Kris Roman on June 4, 2008

A north Russian governor said on Wednesday the country must raise its activity in the Arctic region, in particular the Arctic shelf, before the UN reaches a decision on delimiting the ocean.

The country must “expand activity in every sector – geology, prospecting, hydrometeorology, military science, studies of nature, global warming research, whatever it may be, but we need to be there all the time,” Murmansk Region Governor Yury Evdokimov said.

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