[…] Blinken stressed the importance of upholding “effective governance and the rule of law” to ensure that the “Arctic remains a region free of conflict where countries act responsibly.” He had previously questioned the legality of the proposed Russian maritime rules and expressed deep reservations about Russia’s military activity in the far North.
Several other foreign ministers, including those from Canada, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, echoed Blinken’s call to keep the Arctic peaceful and free of conflict under the authority of international, rather than that of individual countries. Representatives of indigenous Arctic populations urged that their voices be heard.
“We are concerned over the level of recent angry and provocative rhetoric,” said James Stotts of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. “We do not want to see our homeland turned into a region of competition and conflict.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had earlier this week dismissed the U.S. criticism because the Arctic “is our territory, our land,” questioned NATO’s motives in deployments of bombers and submarines to the area. On Thursday, he said resumption of an Arctic Council military dialogue would contribute to stability. Läs artikel