Militarisation of the Arctic

Militarisation of the Arctic

Why in news : Russia recently launched two nuclear powered icebreakers at St.Petersburg and claimed them to be of strategic importance.

Significance of Militarisation of the Arctic :

  • As climate change opens up the Arctic giving access to new routes and resources.
  • The new Northern Sea Route reduces the time to reach Asia (for Russia) by upto 2 weeks compared to existing suez canal route.

Northern sea route and suez canal route

  • China, which calls itself as near-Arctic state, has announced ambitious plans for a Polar Silk Route to connect to Europe.

India’s policy on Arctic :

  • Since 2007, India has an arctic research programme.
  • India presently has two research stations at Antarctica namely ‘Maitri’ and ‘Bharati’.
  • In march 2022, India unveiled its first Arctic policy “ India and the Arctic : Building a partnership for sustainable development.”
  • India also has observer status in the Arctic council.

Arctic council :

  • The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic
  • The member states of the council are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Arctic council: member countries and observer countries

  • The 1996 Ottawa Declaration established the Arctic Council as a forum for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic states, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on issues such as sustainable development and environmental protection.
  • All Arctic Council decisions and statements require consensus of the eight Arctic States.

Syllabus : prelims and mains; Environment; GS-3 Environment.