NARYAN-MAR, July 6 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia's economic interests are threatened by the activities of NATO and a number of Asian countries in the Arctic, Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said on Wednesday.
"Currently, a wide range of threats, which may negatively effect Russian economic interests, are concentrated in the Arctic," Vysotsky said.
"Recently, we received confirmation that NATO has marked out the Arctic as a zone of its interests," Vysotsky said.
Vysotsky also said that apart from NATO states, China, Japan, the two Koreas and such "well-known Arctic countries" as Malaysia and Thailand have also intensified their activities in the Arctic.
Russia is planning to file a proposal a UN Commission in 2012 to expand its Arctic shelf borders, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
The nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya left the port of Murmansk on Tuesday to accompany a research vessel on a second mission to determine the boundaries of Russia's continental shelf in the Arctic.
Russia is in a dispute with Canada over the Lomonosov Ridge, with both countries trying to persuade a UN commission that it is an extension of its own continental shelf. The sides have agreed that scientific evidence should resolve the dispute.
A settlement of the dispute in Russia's favor would give the country the right to develop vast energy resources on the Arctic shelf.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.