I am back at work on board, finally getting caught up on the outstanding stuff and getting my bearings; next on my list, catch up on the website! Well, I should have some time now, since the temperature outside has taken a dive.
Speaking of low temperature, I am once again posting about arctic issues, three in a month. I came across this interview given by Arthur Chilingarov, a decorated Russian and Soviet Hero, and heralded polar explorer. Chilingarov co-lead the expedition in 2007, which raise international ires, when two manned submersible, Mir 1 and Mir 2, doves to a depth of over 14,000 feet at the North Pole, and planted a Russian flag on the ocean's bottom. The August 2, 2007 dive earned him, and his colleagues, Hero of the Russian Federation status in early 2008
In this interview, given to pro Kremlin RT television, based in Moscow, the celebrated explorer's translation is a bit robotic and the answers are, well a "bit" nationalistic. He does, however have a pretty good point, that not many can match Russia's infrastructure in the Arctic. From the numerous settlements to the massive, albeit aging, fleet of capable icebreakers. He pull no punches when it comes to describing the capability of the Americans, Canadians, and Danes, to name the major claimants in the arctic.
I am not sure when this interview was recorded but perhaps it might be coincidental, but Russian overlord, hmmmm, I mean, Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, moved last week to calm nations that there is no war brewing in the arctic. His comments come on the heels of a groundbreaking treaty with Norway and Russia, on disputed arctic territory, heralded as a important milestone of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). Media commentary characterize the treaty as an important framework to resolve other seaborne territorial disputes, the trickiest to resolve.
Pictures of Research Vessel Akademik Fedorov, and that of Arthur Chlingarov, from Wikipedia's archives. You can read further on the UNCLOS here. A similar blog entry, from Moscow; and more blog comments from an Arctic Russia perspective. You can read more about the North East Passage here. Here is some comments from China, with some interesting graphics. Below is an another interview with Arthur Chillingarov prior to the 2007 expedition.