Russia warns of the danger of an unintended clash between it and NATO in the Arctic region

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned of the dangers of an "unintended clash" between Russia and NATO in the Arctic region.

In an interview with TASS on Sunday, Nikolai Korchunov, the ambassador for special tasks in the Russian Foreign Ministry, who chairs the Committee of Senior Officials of the Arctic Council, expressed Moscow's concern about NATO's involvement of its members from outside the Arctic region in its military activities there.

He said: "The internationalization of NATO's military activities in the high latitudes and the involvement of NATO countries outside the Arctic can only be of concern to us. This may increase the risk of unintended incidents that would cause significant damage to the Arctic ecosystem. the north, in addition to the security risks it brings.

The Russian diplomat warned that the decision of Russia's partners in the Arctic Council (the United States, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark) to suspend its work against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, leads to an increase in challenges and threats in the field of "soft security" in this region.

Korchunov reminded that the mandate of the Arctic Council does not include military security files, saying: "We are convinced that there are no questions that require a military solution in the Arctic region, and international standards clearly define the rights of coastal and other states, and constitute a solid ground for settling any regional problems."

The Russian diplomat warned the West that any possible attempts to create alternative structures to the Arctic Council would only lead to "drawing dividing lines and strengthening contingencies, which would harm the principles of collective cooperation that guided us during decision-making in the Arctic."

Korchunov expressed his full conviction that Western countries are not able to guarantee the sustainable development of the Arctic region without Russia, to which about 60% of the coastline of the region and more than half of its population return, according to "Russia Today".

The Russian official pointed out that the possible accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO will negatively affect security and mutual trust between the countries of the Arctic region, stressing that these two countries have for many years adopted a policy of not joining military blocs, which is one of the most important factors of stability and security in northern Europe and on the European continent. Generally.

He expressed Moscow's hope for the resumption of the work of the Arctic Council as soon as possible, adding that Russia intends to continue "strengthening its sovereignty in the high latitudes", but that it "remains open to cooperation with all countries and organizations in the Arctic and beyond, which share the idea of ​​​​it." The need to develop this region on a sustainable basis.

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