Adm. James Foggo, the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Joint Forces Command Naples, insisted that Russia and China must be stopped from dominating Arctic waters.
“It should have free and fair access to, certainly, all the Arctic Council nations — of which we are a member,” Foggo told media.
He further claimed that the Arctic, including the North Sea route, is “nobody’s lake”.
According to the admiral, US companies have “no interest” in sailing such a “Polar Silk Road,” because most U.S. vessels are too large to sail in such shallow waters.
He pointed out that “the Chinese have a host of different varieties of vessels that can transit across the arctic so they want to make sure that they have a stake up there”.
Foggo also speculated that the Russian sovereignty over its northern territories must be limited.
“…but the Russians consider the Arctic their domain. And, it’s really an international domain, and that’s why we’re interested in keeping it free and open,” he said.
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping route officially defined by Russian legislation as lying east of Novaya Zemlya and specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait. The entire route route lies within Russia’s exclusive economic zone.
Foggo’s remarks were not the first attempt to convince the audience that Russia is doing something wrong in the Arctic. Previously, various US diplomats and military officials stated that the Russians must be limited in its actions in the region. Most of these statements call for rough violation of the international law and contribute to the further dismantling of the post-USSR international relations system.