Military Review

US in the Arctic: neither to yourself nor to people

February 1 in Copenhagen ended the meeting of the Arctic Council Working Group on the Arctic Marine Environment Protection Program (PAME).

The meeting was attended by representatives of all countries participating in the Arctic Council (Russian Federation, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Canada and the United States), as well as representatives of other working groups of the Council and non-governmental organizations.

Since May 2017, Finland has become the chairman of the Arctic Council for two years. The focus was on the program that she plans to implement during this period. Among the tasks listed by the Finns, an important place is occupied by the issues of shipping and the protection of the marine environment from its negative impact.

One of the biggest events will be international exercises, which will be held in March 2018 of the year in the Gulf of Bothnia, during which oil spill response in the Arctic will be worked out.

To date, the use of heavy fuels (fuel oil) is one of the biggest problems in the region. As the transport and environmental group reported in its report, “in the event of oil spills as a result of ship accidents, it is impossible to completely clear the sea of ​​heavy sorts of oil products, which will adversely affect extremely vulnerable species in the Arctic.” It is known that only one ton of oil creates a film with an area of ​​about 12 km2, and a tanker can transport from 16 to 320 and even more tons.

Since the vast majority of ships currently use fuel oil in the Arctic waters, delegations made a joint decision to develop an information document with proposals for resolving the problem. The report will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization.

Another project aimed at protecting the marine environment from the negative impact of shipping was the Polar Code, which entered into force on January 1 of the year 2017. Russia and Finland were appointed to be responsible for monitoring its implementation.

Recall that in December 2016, former US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared the American and Canadian zones in the Arctic protected areas and banned the production of hydrocarbons in these territories.

On the one hand, the solution looks environmentally positive. No production - no associated infrastructure, the operation of which represents the greatest danger to the environment. The decision of the Western authorities supported the World Wildlife Fund and the international public organization Greenpeace. However, not everything is so clearly rosy.

First, shortly after his victory in the presidential elections in the States, Donald Trump noted that his plans include the active development of fuel production in the Arctic. Experts do not exclude that Obama's innovation was a farewell "gift" for Trump, whose political course he did not approve. Now, after the introduction of restrictions on extractive work, if Mr. Trump wants to re-start work in the north, he will have to seek the lifting of the ban through the courts, which may take more than one year.

Secondly, against the backdrop of the actions of Barack Obama, who have received a positive response from nature conservation organizations, the work of other countries in the Arctic region may cause public criticism. Despite the fact that the development of deposits is carried out in compliance with environmental standards and measures are being taken to improve the environmental situation in the region, they will look like a blind and irresponsible pursuit of resources.

This can play into the hands of Western countries. The US senator from Alaska acknowledged that Russia is far ahead of the United States in developing the Arctic region. “We are late,” he stated. And if the Americans admit that they will not be able to catch up with Moscow, they, nevertheless, may try to obstruct it.

Nevertheless, as the cooperation of Russia with Norway and Finland on the protection of the environment shows, no country takes any rash actions in the Arctic. On the contrary, the development of the region probably goes somewhat slower than it could, but in this case it is impossible to hurry. Without a doubt, each of the countries, considering its next step, acts in its own interests. But while some are worried about the safe increase of efficiency and the prevention of possible consequences, others are trying to do so that no one gets it.

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  1. grandson of the hero
    grandson of the hero 16 February 2017 07: 08
    At the beginning of winter, I was at this station, which is in the photograph. Varandey station is located in our territorial waters of the Barents Sea. Practically - it fills tankers that cannot approach the shore. For several tens of meters, the piles are driven into the bottom and the station itself is up to the bottom (depth about 20m). In fact, the ship (it just doesn’t move anywhere) - there is a captain, a boatswain ... Kok cooks just fine, five-time meals. The top with the refueling module rotates 360 ° for the convenience and safety of refueling tankers.
    For especially stubborn "green" - zero emission. Physically, nothing can get overboard. Periodic checks reveal nothing at all. And two ships nearby - support vessels, are constantly next to the station.
    The author of the article was mistaken in the volume of tanker filling - it should be read: thousand tons.
    And the cherry - well, of course LUKOIL.
    If interested, I will answer questions as far as possible.
    1. Evdokim
      Evdokim 16 February 2017 14: 41
      Oh, how I want to somehow be involved in the national treasure, at least a little, but not on that studied.
      1. grandson of the hero
        grandson of the hero 16 February 2017 19: 18
        The total station personnel have a seafarer and a Northern Sea Route.
    2. grandson of the hero
      grandson of the hero 16 February 2017 19: 29
      Guess where tankers mostly go ???
      You are mistaken ... to Norway !!! No.
  2. Mar.Tirah
    Mar.Tirah 16 February 2017 07: 11
    Soviet times caused great damage to the territory of the Arctic and its coast. Then we carried goods only in one direction. And all this accumulated there for decades. I remember thousands of oil barrels and fuel dumped under a hill. And the oil-covered windows of small lakes formed in the summer in the tundra! But the worst part is fuel oil. Light fractions decompose and evaporate. And the rest of the mass, similar in its properties to liquid tar, is thrown onto the banks, or sticks to animals, and the body of the electric ship .. It's a terrible sight. It even smells no, like rainbow spots. I’m glad that in fact, not in words, we started the fight against pollution. The video footage confirms this. We also learned how to deal with discharges of under-water waters. And it’s very strict right now. on pumps, check the FFV change logs at the bunker bases.
    1. Igor V
      Igor V 16 February 2017 13: 58
      Barrels are the most massive building material in the Arctic. From walls and stoves, to road landmarks and gurias in special places. Now all the barrels will be destroyed, how to mark the track? sad
      But it’s not worth blaming everything on Russia, there were no Soviet polar explorers in Greenland, and no less was sent.
  3. midshipman
    midshipman 16 February 2017 07: 27
    By decision of the Government of the country, we published the monograph "The Arctic Regions of Russia: Management, Development." I have the honor.
  4. Gormenghast
    Gormenghast 16 February 2017 08: 17
    "Environmental protection"- This is a line from the Obama song about global warming, solar and wind energy, electric cars and other clownish inventions.

    What the United States is doing in the Arctic Council is not clear; They have not ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea; want to sit on two chairs at the same time. Not that I am for the Convention (it’s a betrayal of Russian interests), but now that it has been signed, it’s necessary not to take the Amer’s sticks out of the wheels, but to clean the a-measures themselves from the relevant organization. am
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 16 February 2017 09: 01
      want to sit on two chairs at the same time.
      And sit-size allows.
      Their business is to prevent others from becoming stronger, ours is free to develop.
  5. V.ic
    V.ic 16 February 2017 10: 45
    Maybe it's time to lay submarines = tankers on slipways Nevermind ice ...
  6. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 16 February 2017 11: 54
    Today, the use of heavy fuels (fuel oil) is one of the largest problems in the region.

    Excellent - it means you need to switch to ... nuclear power plants. Exclusively in compliance with the requirements of the Greens on the rejection of fuel oil in the Arctic. laughing
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Charond
    Charond 16 February 2017 12: 55
    It is time for Russia to unilaterally declare all the Arctic territories to which it claims to be its territory and let it turn up if they dare ... China is doing the right thing. He installed his anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft defense on the islands and warned of the consequences of an attack on them.
    1. grandson of the hero
      grandson of the hero 16 February 2017 19: 27
      Prirazlomnaya and Varandey, and maybe something else, they want to declare islands and expand territorial waters. There are a lot of subtleties, money at stake and gov .... tsa (sorry for the unformat).
      1. Charond
        Charond 16 February 2017 19: 32
        China does and does right.
  9. EternalStranger
    EternalStranger 16 February 2017 14: 53
    Cooperation between Russia and Norway, is this supposed to be the surrender of the Barents Sea to the Norwegians?