News / Europe

    Putin Stresses Cooperation in Arctic Resources Disputes

    James Brooke

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that disputes over the resource rich Arctic Ocean that is believed to hold as much as a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas, can be resolved through dialogue.  Our correspondent reports from an international Arctic conference in Moscow.

    Three years after Russia planted its flag on the seabed under the North Pole, Prime Minister Putin told the conference that differences over the Arctic can be resolved without conflict.

    He said it is imperative to keep the Arctic "a zone of peace and cooperation."

    Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway have been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic Ocean.

    A new U.S. government study indicates that one quarter of the Earth's untapped oil and gas reserves are locked beneath the floor of the Arctic Ocean.  Another U.S. study says that by 2030, global warming could leave the North Pole ice-free during the summer, turning the previously inaccessible region into a potentially rich source of oil, gas and other natural resources.

    The Russian prime minister told the conference that "very serious economic and geopolitical interests intersect in the Arctic."  But he added that he had no doubt that "all the problems existing in the Arctic, including problems over the continental shelf can be resolved through an atmosphere of partnership."

    Leaders of NATO's Arctic countries have been skeptical of Russia's approach to solving Arctic sovereignty disputes.  But analysts say Mr. Putin came to the Arctic meeting with new credibility.

    Last week, Russia and Norway signed a maritime border agreement, after 40 years of negotiations.  The accord divides in half an area about 175,000 square kilometers, opening up a section of the Barents Sea to oil and gas exploration.

    For Olav Orheim, head of the Research Council of Norway, the end of the boundary dispute is a major step.

    ''In Norwegian terms, that is the most significant event that happened in Norway since Norway signed with NATO more than 50 years ago," said Olav Orheim.

    Analysts say that Russia's next big Arctic territorial dispute will likely be with Canada and Denmark, which handles foreign affairs and security for Greenland.

    By 2014, the three nations are expected to file rival bids for unclaimed waters and seabed rights around the North Pole.

    Russia says its continental shelf extends across the North Pole, following the Lomonosov Ridge - an underwater mountain range that extends from Siberia to Greenland.

    Moscow announced this week that it will spend $64 million to gather data on the ridge.

    Michael Byers, an expert on global politics and international law at the University of British Columbia in Canada, says the Russians will not win legal points for having named underwater geographical features.

    "The issue of the extent of the continental shelf jurisdiction in the central Arctic Ocean will not be determined by power or politics," said Michael Byers. "Russia, Canada and all the other Arctic Ocean counties have agreed to use the Law of the Sea convention to resolve any of these issues and those procedures are entirely legal and scientific in character.  So Russia will collect scientific data on the shape and the sediments of the ocean floor.  Canada will do the same."

    The day after Russia and Norway signed their border agreement, Canada's Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon visited Moscow.  In a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Cannon forcefully reasserted Canada's rival claim to the disputed Arctic region.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora