WASHINGTON, The United States – Washington will not allow Russia or China to dominate the Arctic or control the North Sea Route, said US Navy commander in Europe and Africa, Admiral James Foggo.
According to The Washington Examiner, citing the Admiral’s words, all countries in the Arctic region should have access to that region and use its resources. Therefore, no State has the right to claim to dominate this region.
“It’s nobody’s lake,” said Adm. James Foggo, the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Joint Forces Command Naples. “It should have free and fair access to, certainly, all the Arctic Council nations — of which we are a member.”
Foggo predicted friction between Beijing and Moscow. “I’m not sure that that particular interest is shared with the Russians,” he said. “We see a lot of activity between the Chinese and the Russians, but the Russians consider the Arctic their domain. And, it’s really an international domain, and that’s why we’re interested in keeping it free and open.”
However, he added that US companies have no interest in using the North Sea Route (a route that allows them to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the northern coast of Siberia) because their depth is not sufficient for their ships.
Speaking about the Asian giant, the US Navy commander in Europe and Africa noted that China does not participate in the Arctic Council, having only observer status and for this reason has no right to exploit the waters of the region.
“They want to make sure that they have an opportunity to go over the North Pole and bring their merchant traffic,” Foggo said.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization that was established in 1996 and which seeks to resolve vital issues for Arctic countries and indigenous populations. The organization has eight Member States: Canada, Denmark, the United States, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.