Blinken: Climate Change Has Created Potential ‘New Theatre of Conflict’ Between US, Russia in Arctic


The secretary’s comments come less than a week after President Putin announced that Russia was in the process of building “the most powerful fleet of icebreakers in the world,” and vowed that Moscow would continue to devote resources to and carry out research in the Arctic region no matter what other international challenges arose.

Climate change may make the Arctic a new “theatre of conflict” between the United States and Russia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced.

“Climate change exacerbates existing conflicts and increases the chances of new ones – particularly in countries where governments are weak and resources are scarce,” Blinken said in a speech to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis, Maryland on Monday.

Blinken went on to accuse Moscow of “exploiting this change to try to exert control over new spaces” via the modernisation of its military bases in the Arctic and the construction of new ones, “including one just 300 miles from Alaska.”

The secretary’s remarks follow comments by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu last week in which he reported that the US was working to beef up its military presence in the Arctic region, and indicated that Russia was actively developing the resources of its Northern Fleet to strengthen its defence capabilities and ensure the country’s national interests.

Also last week, at a meeting of the Russian Geographical Society,…

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