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Putin on the Ritz
by Jack Wellman
2007-07-06 00:45:37
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Russian President Vladimir Putin could soon be shaking the world’s balance of power. He has claimed a vast chunk of the Arctic which he claims is rightfully Russia’s. His scientists have said that the enormous underwater ridge near the North Pole is the part of Russia that sits on their continental shelf.

There, lies a gigantic oil, gas and mineral goldmine (gold, nickel, lead, manganese, diamonds, etc.) that would effectively shift the balance of wealth and the world’s oil supply. All the world and the oil producing nations would feel its economic impact. There is at minimum, twice the total of Saudi Arabia’s oil.

The UN, the U.S., Britain and Canada and other nations were outraged. This is in direct violation of the current, international law that nations that ring the Arctic must go no further than 200 miles near the pole. Environmentalists expressed shock over a potential ecological disaster. Those nations touching on the Arctic are Russia, Denmark (also owns Greenland), Norway and Denmark.

Russia’s aggressiveness seems to be on the increase under Putin. The International Seabed Authority is now being challenged by Moscow. There are an estimated ten billion tons of gas and oil. Russia attempted this some years ago through a submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Russia is planning to tighten its grip on oil and gas supplies "for decades to come" a British diplomatic source warned.

A Canadian official called the move a complete surprise, the U.S. State Department claimed it was “completely unacceptable“. Greenpeace groups worry that this could devastate one of the world's last unspoiled areas. The Geological Society in London claims as nonsense the Russian claim that geological structures can somehow dictate ownership.

In actuality, the Lomonosov Ridge is really where two ocean floor plates are spreading apart; it is not part of a continental shelf. If it where, then Canada to make the very same claim since they are also on that ridge, which means Canada could use the same argument and say the ridge is part of the Canadian shelf. Even further, Canada could claim Russia and the whole of Eurasia as its own since it sits on Canada’s ridge.

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan have joined Russia and China to create the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a political and military alliance designed to counteract Western influence in southeast Europe (i.e. Turkey).

This is a perfect time for the UN and the world to stand up to such strong-arm tactics. National borders have already have been determined. International laws are just that, international. They should apply to all nations. They protect national sovereignty and maintain peace and stability.

The increasing trend of in the past five years of aggressive foreign policy, particularly in the past five years, concerns many nations of the world. Recently, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan joined Russia and China to create the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This is a political and military alliance designed to counteract Western influence in southeast Europe (i.e. Turkey). There are more than a few nations concerned with this trend. And, forgive the pun, but that’s Putin’ it mildly.

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Seth2007-07-06 06:16:57
I hate to see the seizing of international territories unilaterally taken. This is a disturbing trend.

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