Russia and Canada: Partners in the North?
Arvamus 21 Dec 2009  EWR
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Recognizing each other's sovereignty claims brings mutual benefits
Michael Byers, Globe and Mail


A map produced by Natural Resources Canada has pride of place in Arctic ambassador Anton Vasiliev's office, in the Stalinist-era skyscraper housing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Centred on the geographic North Pole, the map shows how Russia and Canada dominate the Arctic region. Between them, the two largest countries on Earth account for three-quarters of the Arctic Ocean's coastline.

Both countries claim the channels between their Arctic islands and northern coasts as “internal waters” where foreign vessels require permission to enter. Their claims are opposed by the United States, which insists the Northern Sea Route and Northwest Passage are “international straits.”

Russia and Canada have never opposed each other's claims, but neither have they explicitly supported each other. Instead, they have always relied on thick, hard sea ice to keep foreign vessels away.

The complete Globe and Mail article is available here:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com...
 
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