Russland legger frem et dokument om nordområdene denne uken som ifølge Der Spiegel legger an en aggressiv tone. Det later til at Norge står overfor en stor utfordring.
Some of the content has already been leaked, revealing an uncompromising tone. «It cannot be ruled out that the battle for raw materials will be waged with military means,» the explosive document reads.
It seems that Russia, with almost one-third of its territory lying north of the Arctic Circle, is about to prove that the fears of Western nations bordering the Arctic are not unjustified. The nuclear power will soon begin flexing its muscles along the icy shores of its giant realm.
The interest of nations bordering the Arctic is growing as polar ice recedes. One week before leaving office, outgoing US President George W. Bush unveiled a strategic plan for the Arctic region. Canada, Denmark and Norway have launched their own initiatives. Even the European Union announced a new polar policy in November.
Meanwhile, the government-controlled newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta is preparing Russians for the notion that «the fight for the Arctic will be the initial spark for a new division of the world.» Artur Chilingarov, a member of the Russia parliament and Moscow’s chief ideologue when it comes to conquering the Arctic, puts it this way: «We are not prepared to give our Arctic to anyone.»
Chilingarov — who in August 2007 used a remote-controlled submarine arm to plant a Russian flag made of titanium on the ocean floor at the North Pole at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,976 feet) — wants to «present evidence to the United Nations within one year» that the North Pole belongs to the Russians. His threat to those in the West who disagree is simple: «If these rights are not recognized, Russia will withdraw from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.»