Insert Cold War joke here.
As if the icy stares of Russian President Vladimir Putin weren’t enough to intimidate, the president’s country made news this week when it submitted paperwork to the United Nations in order to secure more than 450,000 square miles of Arctic land and sea, according to a report this past week by the Associated Press.
The move comes in the midst of a five-way competition between Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States to claim land that, according a special report by The Guardian, holds what is believed to be the home of up to 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and oil resources.
Russia’s attempt to gain the territory comes 13 years after the United Nations rejected the country’s first application in 2002.
The Associated Press quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that there is “ample scientific data” pointing to the presence of a wealth of natural resources.
Ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research are used to back the Russian claim.
However, there are some in Russia who are opposed to the proposed acquisition. Vladimir Chuprov, a Greenpeace Russia spokesperson, was quoted as saying he didn’t approve of the proposal.
He characterized the Arctic Ocean as a “new and vulnerable sea” and cautioned against the region becoming the “next Saudi Arabia.”
The melting of the Arctic ice is uncovering a new and vulnerable sea, but countries like Russia and Norway want to turn it into the next Saudi Arabia.
Along with the land acquisition, Russia has plans to install an Arctic monitoring system, Business Insider wrote yesterday.
The monitoring system is a multi-faceted surveillance system which will watch land, sky and sea.
Putin said the system is essential for “national security and access to natural resources.”