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    Russia's Activities in Arctic Not Destabilizing Region - US State Dep't

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    US State Department spokesperson John Kirby ruled out any destabilization of the Arctic by Russia.

    ANCHORAGE (Sputnik) — Russia's military activities in the Arctic do not destabilize the region, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told Sputnik on Monday.

    "They have not just regional but global responsibilities, Russia does. And so far we are not seeing what they are doing as not in keeping with their global strategic responsibilities… Thus far, we are not seeing their activities destabilizing the region," Kirby said on the sidelines of the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic in Anchorage, Alaska on Monday.

    Kirby stressed, however, that the United States stays "vigilant."

    "We certainly are watching what Russia is doing in the region, there is no question about that," he said.

    Kirby emphasized that the United States consistently discusses the Arctic issues with Russia, including its concerns over Russia's activities there.

    "They do have legitimate responsibilities security wise here in the Arctic. This is something we discuss routinely with Russian leaders, what’s going in the Arctic and certainly our concerns about it. This is something we are going to continue to talk to them about. We expect we’ll continue to have these discussions," he said.

    Russia has been pressing ahead with efforts to develop its Arctic territories, including hydrocarbon production and the development of the Northern Sea Route, which is gaining importance as an alternative to traditional routes from Europe to Asia. The country has also boosted its military presence in the area.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated that Russia does not plan to militarize the Arctic, but will take the necessary steps to ensure its defense capabilities in the region.

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    U.S. Department of State, John Kirby, Arctic, United States, Russia
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