Saturday, March 19, 2016

Russian is about "annexing" Arctic

Google Translation

March 14, 2016 - In The Wall Street Journal interesting article appeared Borgersona S. and M. Byers - not journalists, but experts. American Scott Borgerson head of the company «CargoMetrics», and Michael Byers - Canadian scientist, Head of the Department of World Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). Both experts believe that the US authorities should assess the chances of the emergence from the Canadian shores of Russian warships: after strategic priorities insatiable Russian may mean the "annexation" is not only one of the Crimea.

The authors report on the recent state visit of the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to Washington, where he met with President Obama. Ironically, experts note that from Trudeau made ??a downright "movie star": here you are "good appearance," and the spirit of liberalism. This is all great, but the main thing in Trudeau's visit should be a completely different: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Arctic aspirations.
"In addition to the military Putin's intervention in the civil war in Syria and its" annexation "of the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014 - co-authors write, - he believes global warming is an advantage that manifests itself near the northern border of Russia, and reconstructs the strategic priorities of the country, targeting them to the Arctic. " Tense relations with Russia give the US a new reason to resolve the dispute with Canada in respect of the Northwest passage. Canada argues that the shipping channels between the Arctic islands that connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, its "internal waters". The US claims that the waterway is an "international strait" through which ships of all countries have the right to "the continuous transit passage". . The same applies to flying in the sky above "international strait" aircraft the US are taking a more proactive stance on the Arctic for two reasons: its chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and that a lot of attention, which the Obama administration focuses on climate change. Thus, now it is the time to determine the problem and raise the question of a common "vulnerabilities" in the face of the emergence of the North-West passage of naval military ships "from Russia and other hostile countries." Can get to the United States in this way and all sorts of terrorists and smugglers. In 1988, reminiscent of the sponsors, President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to resolve the crisis, which was triggered by the US Coast Guard icebreaker, entered into the waterway without the permission of Canada. Reagan agreed that all such vessels will ask the consent of Canada, and Mr. Mulroney in response promised that the agreement will always be granted. However, that agreement was reached to climate change. As a result, the last Northwest Passage opened for other vessels, not only for the ice-breakers. According to the scientific center «Polar» (Polar Science Center) , the volume of sea ice in the Arctic over the past four decades has decreased by half. Growth of average temperatures in those latitudes, especially in the winter, will soon open new Arctic sea routes. Arctic passages can never fully compete with cargo routes through the Suez or Panama Canal, but they are much shorter than for some routes of interest. According Borgersona and Byers, the United States and Canada could currently enter into a "deal" with regard to the North-West passage that allows to protect the legitimate concerns of the US Navy on the freedom of the seas and finally recognize the "internal waters" of Canada. We must start with a bilateral agreement, and then it can be expanded, by signing relevant agreements between Canada and other US allies. This approach has already proven to be effective: for example, bilateral treaties concluded between the United States and the Caribbean countries and are the basis for the interception of drugs at sea. However, to reach an agreement so that Canada and the US will have to solve some fundamental problems. That is the first problem: any compromise on the Northwest passage could set a precedent for other waterways (such as the Strait of Hormuz, where to go out oil tankers from the Persian Gulf). US and there claim the right to continuous transit traffic. Fortunately, experts, lawyers and diplomats "can easily separate the" Northwest Passage from these straits on the basis of its considerable length, frequent sea ice and low-level navigation. Worry about the precedent can be facilitated and a supplementary agreement that the agreement does not apply to the legal status of other waterways. The authors remind us, "the long history of safety issues of cooperation between the US and Canada" as well as "mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of shipping in the waters, under national jurisdiction. " Now the time has come to agree on the north-western part of Canada ( "before it is too late"). Sea ice is melting, foreign ships now and then there, and probably left quite a bit to stay here, "warship", which will send the region "assertive Russia."

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