Russia: Putin issues warning about ‘crossing red line’
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Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister on Monday declared the Arctic was his country’s area of influence before warning the West against its ambitions in the region. The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said: “It has been clear to everyone for a long time that these are our lands, our territory.” Mr Lavrov has also denounced what Russia sees as offensive tendencies of NATO and Norway in the Arctic.
On Thursday diplomats from Russia and the US are due to meet in the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavic, Iceland.
The meeting between the US and Russian diplomats will come prior to another meeting scheduled between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Serguei Lavrov and Antony Blinken agreed to hold a meeting on the sidelines of this session to discuss key issues of bilateral relations and the international agenda.”
The meeting on the future usage of Arctic waters that are thawing because of global warming will take place amid weeks of tension between Russia and the United States.
The US has spoken out about the recent arrest in Moscow of Alexei Navalny, an opponent of Mr Putin, and the Russian annexation of Crimea as well as its ongoing disputes in eastern Ukraine.
Claims of Russian espionage from Washington has also soured relations.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that brings together the countries that have sovereignty in that territory to discuss common issues.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum concerned with issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the region.
There are eight countries that have lands sovereignty over the region.
The nations are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.
Also in attendance at the council will be observer nations such as India, China, the EU and the UK.
Also in attendance is an Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat.
The secretariat represents the views of indigenous people that inhabit Arctic regions.
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