When I wrote on this site a few days ago about President Putin’s upcoming visit to the USA, I hardly expected to see Russia announce that it will grab a huge chunk from international waters in the Arctic before his visit even takes place!  According to the BBC, Russia have yet to formally stake an international claim, but Russian geologists say they have data that would support a claim to about 1.2m sq km (463,000 sq miles) of energy-rich territory in the Arctic.  And this claim is being feted in the Russian media – a sure sign of things to come in Putin’s Russia, where the media takes its lead from the Government.

For how this might affect the world, take a look at the map in this report by the UK’s Daily Mail.  If Putin pulls this one off, it’ll alter the whole balance of influence in this oil-rich area, with massive implications for the USA, Canada (they’re right to be worried), Greenland and Europe.  This cavalier attitude towards international conventions demonstrates the growing strength of Russia under Putin, and it’s not as if there was no early warning.  Way back in 2005, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov announced that his government would adopt Norwegian standards to develop the oil and gas-rich underwater fields in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea.  I doubt if Norway anticipated this latest step by the Russian juggenaut when they offered help with their technology back then.

Russia is quick to criticise the USA and UK when we skirt around international and UN law in defence of our own perceived interests – for example in our War against terror, but when it comes to taking action in their own, Russian interests there’s no stopping them.  Shouldn’t we take a leaf out of their book and take less notice of what the United Nations and other countries think, and pay more attention to what’s in our interest?

I know I keep going on about it, but I stand by my War against terror posts, urging the adoption of strong action to make sure we win our war against terror, and putting our own interests first is a major factor.  Oil is fundamental to the freedom of the West and it’s not just Russia who are capitalising on this – see by post on Africa, Islam and Nigeria’s oil.

Peter Davies was a territorial soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975.  Davies’ novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his experience in the war, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.  See http://www.peterdaviesbooks.com.

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