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Monday, 16 December 2013 08:20

China and Canada tend to the Arctic

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Russia welcomes foreign partners in the development of the shelf and is preparing to defend their territories. As you know, Canada - Nordic country . The total length of its Arctic coastline is about 162,000 miles , and the area of the Arctic territories it occupies the first place in the world. However, the official Ottawa not averse to expand its sphere of influence in the region .

Foreign Minister John Baird said the day before that the UN Commission on the continental shelf application submitted according to which Canada is asserting itself on the 1.2 million square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, including the underwater Lomonosov Ridge . The very hidden under a layer of cold water mountain range , which Russia considers its .

Such insistence is understandable : after all, in U.S. Geological Survey estimates , here in the northern latitudes , there are more than 20 % of the world 's oil and natural gas. It is about 90 billion barrels of oil and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids .

"We have asked our officials and scientists to conduct additional work needed to apply for the entire continental shelf of Canada , including the North Pole " - John Baird said modestly .

Russia is preparing to submit its application for Arctic territory in 2014. Or so : his first claim for recognition are in the Barents , Bering and Okhotsk Seas Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges continuation of Russia's continental shelf Moscow filed in 2001 . If confirmed, it would give the country a significant advantage in the development and mining operations in the 200-mile economic zone. Evidence of Moscow three years studying at the UN, and then sent a request for revision. While there were diplomatic consultations and correspondence , the struggle for these territories including Canada and Denmark .

However, the Arctic - it's not just oil and gas, but also the shortest sea route between the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region , Europe and America. The Northern Sea Route , which runs along the northern Russian borders, much shorter than the passage through the Panama or Suez Canal. Savings in the transfer of 200 thousand tons of cargo on the Northern Sea Route from Japan to Norway could be up to 500,000 dollars. Travel time is reduced by 15 days. Therefore, the " Asian Tigers " are interested in fast carriage of the goods , have long paid attention to this region . South Korea opened in 2002 on Spitsbergen its research station " Dothan ". Two years later, located near the Chinese research station " Yellow River ", and in 2007 - Indian " Himadri ". In 2010, Japan had established " Meeting on the Arctic " and " Arctic Task Force ." No wonder that in May 2013 China, India , Japan, South Korea and Singapore given the status of permanent observer in the Arctic Council .

However, we must recognize that the Northern Sea Route remains poorly understood and almost undeveloped transport artery . After the collapse of the USSR a modest coastal infrastructure, finally fell into disrepair , and without ports and a network of repair and rescue stations perform pilotage in difficult climatic conditions is simply unthinkable .

According to experts, the Northern Sea Route can be shifted annually to 50 million tons of cargo . The reality is much more modest yet . In 2010 it was organized only four transit flight , during which carried 110,000 tons of cargo . In 2011, the Northern Sea Route have already completed 34 ships , they carried about 830 000 tonnes. Last year the Russian major tanker "Vladimir Tikhonov " set a record . Taking on board more than 162,000 tons of gas condensate , he went all the Northern Sea Route for seven and a half days . Behind him was the cargo ship , bulk carrier Sanko Odyssey, having on board more than 66 000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate. So - you can! And now in the PRC adopted its program of creating an Arctic icebreaker fleet . The first such ship to be launched already this year .

Of course , the Chinese cook their icebreaking Arctic fleet not only for transshipment . The far north they also entail huge reserves of hydrocarbons. A Russian companies need investment extremely development already explored 43 northern fields . A month ago, a government commission on foreign investment issued a permit holding Chinese CNPC to purchase 20 % of "Yamal LNG" company "NOVATEK" a billion dollars. "Rosneft" is ready to consider the conditions for entry CNPC, and other Chinese oil and gas companies in their projects on the Arctic shelf .

Fears that Chinese businesses to seize the Russian Arctic shelf , experts believe far-fetched. "China's financial and other resources in the development of mineral resources on the continental shelf and use other Arctic countries , including Russia , even late, because, for example , some of them earlier than the Russian Federation, agreed on this issue with the Chinese ," - says the professor of the world Vyacheslav Karlusov economy MGIMO . As an example, he recalled that China's invitation as an observer in the Arctic Council lobbied Denmark .

"The fact that the Chinese are becoming more and more active global players - it's natural . The fact that the Chinese advantageous to use the Northern Sea Route , and that Russia is advantageous if China will pay for their passage of merchant ships along our shores , too, is understandable , especially from the standpoint of the global economy - says Karlusov . - In the interests of Russia - the constructive cooperation with China. But Moscow , of course, must be based on international law , strictly uphold their political sovereignty and environmental safety . "

Russia will have something to defend its sovereignty in the Arctic in case of emergency. At the enlarged meeting of the Defense Ministry Vladimir Putin set the task in 2014 to finish the formation of an Arctic military group and create the necessary infrastructure .

"Russia is actively explore this promising region , returns to him and should have here all the levers to protect its security and national interests " - the Russian president said .

As reported by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu , in the near future will be reconstructed seven northern airfields , capable of taking military aircraft . On Franz Josef Land and the New Siberian Islands equipped for mooring quay walls warships.

Putin said earlier that the time in the Arctic face serious geopolitical and economic interests of different countries to be ready for any eventuality . However , according to him , the best solution of all potential conflicts would be a dialogue between all stakeholders . " I have absolutely no doubt that the existing problems of the Arctic , including the continental shelf , can be resolved in a spirit of partnership , through negotiations on the basis of existing international legal norms," - said the president .

Hopefully ...

Igor Petrov

Source: http://www.km.ru/economics/2013/12/11/727386-kitai-i-kanada-stremyatsya-v-arktiku

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