The United States announced the creation of the post of ambassador to the Arctic to intensify its diplomacy there against the background of the strengthening of the Russian presence in the Arctic.
US State Department spokesman Vidanth Patel said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will soon appoint an ambassador-at-large tasked with engaging with Scandinavian peoples, indigenous groups and other stakeholders.
“A peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative Arctic region is of fundamental strategic importance to the United States and is a priority for Secretary of State Blinken,” Patel added.
And the Arctic is seeing temperatures rise far above the rest of the Earth, raising the possibility of opening more waterways that merchant and warships can’t cross.
Russia is strengthening its presence in the region by operating submarines and strategic aviation, building polar military bases, continuing to develop the world’s largest fleet of icebreakers, and conducting practical flights to the region.
At last year’s Arctic Council meeting in Iceland, Blinken said the countries of the region have a “responsibility” to ensure “peaceful cooperation.”
The announcement of the position of the US Ambassador-at-Large to the Arctic comes as days of Arctic talks begin in Greenland.