India seeks edge in Arctic race

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Dhairya Yadav, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Dhairya Yadav

    Dhairya Yadav Regular Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    India seeks edge in Arctic race with President Pranab Mukherjee’s Norway trip - The Times of India

    OSLO: India is marking its presence in the ongoing Great Arctic Rush with President Pranab Mukherjee becoming the first Indian head of state to visit Norway, as also being all set to cross the famed Arctic Circle when he visits Rovaniemi in Finland on Thursday.

    After Mukherjee received a ceremonial reception at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Monday morning, he held talks with King Harald V and the top Norwegian political leadership. The President will oversee the inking of a dozen bilateral agreements on Tuesday to reaffirm India's long-standing "friendly ties" with Nordic countries.

    India has gained a strategic toehold in the Arctic region, which is fast emerging as the new arena for geopolitical jostling, after getting permanent observer status in May 2013 in the Arctic Council. The council has US, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Finland as its member states. "India's interests in the Arctic region are scientific, environmental, commercial as well as strategic," said an official.

    While there is widespread environmental concern over global warming leading to the melting of the thick ice fields in the Arctic, India also does not want to be left out in the cold in the ongoing race among different countries to explore and exploit the vast reservoirs of oil and gas present in the region.

    Moreover, new deep sea shipping routes are also opening up by the melting of the polar ice caps in the Arctic waters, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to bypass traditional routes through the Suez and Panama Canals. India could, for instance, join hands with a member state like Russia for both navigation and exploration of hydrocarbons, even though its present policy is largely geared towards scientific research.

    "Without ruling out anything, I would like to underline that our focus at the moment is scientific and technological and earth sciences-oriented ... I certainly would not foreclose any possibilities in regard to whatever benefits the Arctic might offer to the world. At the same time, we really do not believe in entering organizations or situations like this with an avowed objective of exploiting resources," said secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, Navtej Sarna.

    It was in 2007 that India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean and then a year later set up the Himadri research station at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard in Norway. From the Fram Museum in Oslo on Monday, Mukherjee spoke through a video link to Indian scientists at Himadri.

    The Arctic is different from Antarctica that the southern polar region has for long been "a global commons" with a treaty in place to preserve its ecologically-pristine environs. The Arctic member states, however, claim territorial jurisdiction and sovereign rights over the northern polar region.


    Looks like India is getting to know its strategic goals in the world scenario . Would love to see more cooperation on this front .

    PS- Damn you Nordic guys are tall :p
    Kshatriya87 likes this.
  3. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    Nice. This means more jobs for me. YaY !!

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