In recent years, the climate emergency has removed many of Russia’s natural obstacles to the North at an unexpected rate, experts acknowledge.
“The melting of the ice is happening faster than scientists predicted or thought possible several years ago. This will be a dramatic transformation in the coming decades,” the senior State Department official told CNN.
Russia did not want to answer the questions posed by CNN, but the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has insisted in recent statements that the goals it is trying to achieve are “peaceful” and of an economic nature.
The new route of maritime trade.
In addition to defense issues, there is also the aspect linked to maritime transport. US officials are concerned about Moscow’s attempt to dominate the “North Sea Route”, a direct link between Norway and Alaska, across Russia’s northern coast.
This route is a possible alternative to the Suez Canal, which just a few days ago faced a blocking situation that affected world trade for a week. Through the North Sea Route, travel time between Asia and Europe can be halved.
Pentagon spokesman Thomas Campbell acknowledges that Russia is looking into the possibility of a new and important international shipping route, but points to the dangers of exclusive country control.
According to the official, Russian law “requires any ship in transit on the North Sea Route to have a Russian pilot on board to steer the ship”, even if it is in international waters. On the other hand, Russia is also trying to establish that all foreign ships need permission from Moscow to do this route.
These movements and rules are “an effort to establish some traffic rulencieses and get some acceptance from the international community so that I can then say that this is how things will have to work,” said the head of the Pentagon.
Source: With Agencies