Russia Concerned Over EU's Attempts to Assert Political Ambitions in Arctic
13:55 GMT 28.10.2021 (Updated: 14:47 GMT 28.10.2021)
© Sputnik / Vladimir AstapkovichThe Avraamy Zavenyagin icebreaker at the seaport of Dudinka. The federal Arctic port on the Northern Sea Route Dudinka is the largest in Siberia and the northernmost international seaport in Russia.
© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich/
The US also repeatedly spoke out in favour of strengthening its presence in the Arctic region - especially militarily - to deter Russia's expansion there. However, Washington is slightly hamstrung in its attempt as it lacks the icebreaker ships it needs.
Russia is concerned by the European Union's attempts to assert its political ambitions in the Arctic region, the Russian Foreign Ministry has stated.
"Naturally, we cannot help being alarmed by such impudent attempts from the EU to assert its political ambitions in the Arctic region and extend its influence over it, thus weakening the prospects for its sustainable development", Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said.
Zakharova further lambasted the EU's proposal to limit the extraction of fossil fuel from the Arctic, adding that it holds no water. The spokeswoman reminded her audience that the resources extracted from the region are broadly used to fuel the development and deployment of green technologies around the world and interfering in these activities actually does more harm to the cause of combating climate change than good.
She stressed that a proposed moratorium might undermine the stability of the energy market and affect ordinary Europeans in the end. Right now, the EU and the UK are both suffering record-high prices for natural gas because supplies are short.
The European Commission released its strategy on the Arctic earlier in which it proposed to ban the extraction of coal, oil and gas in the Arctic, as well as the nearby regions. The strategy also criticised Russia for its expansion in the Arctic, especially in the sphere of security.
The EU is not alone in trying to challenge Russia in the Arctic. During the Trump era, the US also declared as one of its priorities containing and deterring Moscow's expansion in the region. However, Washington faces difficulties in bringing these ambitions to life because it only has two icebreakers and only one is operational.
Without them, the US military presence, the only one Washington plans to develop, is limited to its Air Force and several bases. Unlike the US, Russia's progress in the region is not only limited to security issues – it is also actively focusing on its economic development, including setting up oil and gas extraction facilities.