The likelihood of conflict between the United States and Russia in the Arctic remains low, according to the state Department. This opinion was expressed by Deputy assistant Secretary of state for oceans and international Affairs in the field of environment and science David Balton.
According to him, the threat of armed conflict in the region “remains low compared to other regions.” In General, he noted that the Arctic remains a “stable and peaceful region.”
Balton stated that the United States successfully cooperate with Russia in the Arctic Council, despite disagreements in other areas. “We have a mechanism, which provides for a very good international cooperation between all eight countries, including Russia. Whatever disagreements existed between the US and Russia, they relate to other areas not reflected in the Arctic Council. This is a very consistently active body,” he said.
The Arctic Council consists of eight countries — Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, USA, Finland and Sweden. The next meeting of the foreign Ministers of the Arctic Council will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska on may 10-11. From the Russian side the event will be attended by the Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.
In early may, the U.S. Coast guard expressed concern about the increasing military presence of Russia in the Arctic region. “Now we observe that there takes place a certain scheme. It causes concern because we don’t know what’s the goal,” said the commander Paul Zukunft.
The increased activity of Russia in the Arctic, including the modernization of military bases, causing concern in NATO countries. According to representatives of the Alliance, the difference between Russian and Western military capability was significantly reduced, in this connection, NATO has stepped up naval exercises to deter Russian aggression.