Medvedev defends Russia's access to Arctic resources

08:35, March 18, 2010      

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President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday criticized unnamed Arctic nations for trying to restrict Russia's access to natural resources there.

"Polar countries are taking active steps to expand their scientific, economic and even military presence in the Arctic area," Medvedev said at a Russian Security Council session on climate change.

"Attempts are being made to limit Russia's access to the development and exploration of Arctic deposits, which is unacceptable from a legal point of view and unfair, considering our country's geographical position and history," the president was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

International interest in the Arctic region has intensified in recent years as global warming thaws waterways once choked with ice almost year-round and makes hydrocarbon deposits under the Arctic Ocean increasingly accessible.

Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway all scramble to lay claim to parts of the underwater territory in the region, which is estimated to hold more than a quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves.

Source: Xinhua
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