The US administration plans to launch an extensive economic intrusion in the Arctic from Alaska
One can hear political experts and international observers saying that Russia has been taking firm steps to win the title of a full-fledged member of the system of international relations. Does Russia have any other competitive advantages besides natural resources, which could include the country on the list of great superpowers?
According to experts' estimates, the evident advantages, which Russia obtains from its mineral wealth, may soon bring significant problems to the country in the future. Russia has been taking certain measures lately to ease the country of the “oil well dependence.” However, extraction still tops the priority list for authorities, and the exploration of new oil fields remains somewhere in the background.
There are obviously many unexplored oil and gas deposits in Russia. Oil and gas reserves of the explored deposits will soon be exhausted. Furthermore, Russia may lose new perspective resources of world's most wanted raw material, oil.
The richest deposits of mineral resources can be found on Russia's vast Arctic territory. However, there is still no detailed plan on the development of this oil-rich area. The government does not have a precise concept for the development of the Arctic region. The ice-breaking fleet, which used to be a part of USSR's national pride, has been desolated. Russia may have only one ice-breaker left in a couple of years, although the vessel is still being built.
As long as there is no transport, there is no trade either. The once promising Northern Seaway, which is a lot shorter than bypass routes, will either be eventually covered with ice or occupied by foreign vessels. The owners of those vessels will most likely be using the seaway without any commercial ties with Russia. It was said several years ago that China, for example, had plans to create its ice-breaking fleet to carry Chinese goods to Europe along Russia's Northern Seaway.
The Russian government urgently needs to determine the basis of its state policy in the Arctic region. To make matters worse, politicians will probably have to face a serious problem from abroad too. It has recently transpired that the US administration plans to launch an extensive invasion in the Arctic region in order to oust potential partners from the oil-rich territory. The USA particularly plans to build airbases in Alaska, while US oil giants intend to develop the Arctic shelf. To mask the intrusion and make it look like a peaceful initiative, the USA would be ready to render humanitarian assistance to Russia to improve the living standard of “the impoverished northern nations of Russia.” In addition, Washington says that it will protect the whole world from the huge hole in the ozone layer of the Earth's atmosphere above the Arctic territory. This territory, however, belongs to Russia, but it seems that the fact does not bother the US administration.
One may thus infer that “American partners” claim to obtain the key role in the development and exploitation of the Russian territory. The ice-bound north is just a start. Russia urgently needs to take measures to move the Arctic economy forward and create investment-attracting conditions in the region. Otherwise, the people living in the Far North of the country will have a chance to see Chinese ice-breakers traveling by.
It is obvious that the development of USA's new objective in the Arctic region will be conducted within the scope of the nation's ambition to dominate the world. This intention is officially registered in the US National Security Strategy. The document entitles Washington to possess all necessary resources to influence the situation in all key regions of the globe. The Arctic has become one of such regions.
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