Russian Foreign Ministry assesses military threats in the Arctic
Russia has assessed military threats in the Arctic as relatively low, said Nikolai Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry for International Cooperation in the Arctic.
“There are no problems requiring a military solution in the Arctic. All issues can and must be resolved at the negotiating table. We have assessed military threats in the Arctic as relatively low,” said Korchunov, answering a question on whether Moscow believed the Arctic could become a military-free zone.
The Russian diplomat also noted NATO’s frequent military exercises involving non-Arctic states in the region. Korchunov added that such internationalization of military activity in the Arctic is largely tied to opportunities for exploring mineral resources and developing the Northern Sea Route and global transportation corridors in the Extreme North due to climate warming and Arctic ice melting.
“Nevertheless, by analyzing coastal countries’ military activities we can state that no one in the Arctic is preparing for a military conflict,” Korchunov noted.
At the same time, he noted China’s activities in the Arctic zone: the country does not pose any threat but serves as an example of good behavior.
“Recently, China has been heavily criticized for taking a greater interest in the Arctic, due to alleged threats from Beijing. At the same time, it should be noted that this non-Arctic country refrains from military activities in the Arctic region, thereby helping keep low tension and a constructive atmosphere for interaction,” Korchunov said.
The diplomat also noted that China makes a constructive contribution to the Arctic Council as an observer.