Russia to respond to militarization of Arctic 2009-02-24 01:06:38   Print

    MOSCOW, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Russia is ready to respond to attempts to militarize the Arctic region, the Interfax news agency reported Monday citing the chief of the general staff.

    "We want to see in general how far the region will be militarized and we will act accordingly," Gen. Nikolai Makarov was quoted by as saying during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

    NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said last month that military activity has been steadily increasing in the Arctic.

    He called for transparency, trust and cooperation to tackle the challenges in the Arctic, saying it is necessary to engage Russia and other stakeholders in the region and beyond.

    Russia shares Arctic Sea coastlines with four other countries: Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States, all NATO members.

    The five countries have different views over the delineation of the 200-nautical-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zones, as well as over the extension of the continental shelves.

    In addition, Makarov, who is attending an international arms fair, said Russia has not yet received official proposals from the United States on significant reduction of strategic nuclear arms.

    "When the proposal comes, we will discuss it. It's absolutely early to talk about anything," Makarov said.

    It was reported earlier the new U.S. administration would hold talks with Moscow with a view to slashing the number of intercontinental nuclear missiles on both sides by 80 percent.

Editor: Yan
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