Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that the United States is worried about increased Russian military activity in the Arctic. Therefore, the U.S. plans to appoint its first Arctic Ambassador to drive U.S. policy and strengthen diplomacy in the Arctic. The U.S. State Department chief deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said that Secretary of State Blinken will soon appoint an ambassador-at-large for the Arctic who will engage with Arctic countries and indigenous peoples. Peace and stability in the Arctic is of critical strategic importance to the United States. Media reports also point out that the U.S. move reflects the growing importance of the Arctic region in terms of strategy, commerce and resources. NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said NATO will strengthen its presence in the Arctic. He pointed out that due to climate change, melting ice will make high latitudes more accessible, and high latitudes will become increasingly important in the future. Stoltenberg also called Russia’s capabilities in the Arctic a “strategic challenge” to NATO, warning that “the shortest path for Russian missiles and bombers to reach North America is to fly over the North Pole.” It is worth noting that, if Finland and Sweden formally join NATO, seven of the eight countries in the Arctic Circle will be NATO members. In March this year, the U.S. military conducted the first air defense integrated operations exercise in the Arctic. In addition, in August, the Russian Northern Fleet announced that it would start military training in the Arctic.
Source: Sina, August 28, 2022