Bourque today has a link to the UK Daily Mail report on Vladimir Putin launching a highly controversial claim on the Arctic and the North Pole. Given that Canada is sending up the HMCS Corner Brook to that very area as we speak, no doubt this is highly intriguing. Canada, the US, Russia, and other countries all have competing claims on the Arctic region, which is going to grow in importance in the coming years if the global warming crowd is correct. Shipping lanes, new oil and gas exploration, diamonds, and who knows what all else are all going to be going up for grabs in the coming decades, and it is important for all parties who have a stake in the future of the Arctic to demonstrate the legitimacy of their claims.
Not surprisingly, Canada and the US both issued strong statements against the move by Putin. Things between Washington and Moscow have been deteriorating lately, and this will likely only futher rile the two former superpower rivals. We know that Stephen Harper has made concerted efforts to establish Canada's legitimacy in the Arctic, and this Russian endeavour certainly may be interpreted as encroaching on Canadian territory. Very interesting to see what, if anything, develops out of this.