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RUSSIA

Canada to push Arctic claim in Denmark

Canada's foreign affairs minister will be in Denmark next week to discuss the Arctic in a meeting that will be closely watched by Moscow.

Canada to push Arctic claim in Denmark
Photo: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard/Flickr
Canada's top diplomat will discuss the Arctic with his Scandinavian counterparts in Denmark and Norway next week, it was announced Thursday, a trip that will raise suspicions in Russia.
 
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will specifically bring up "the challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic," said a statement.
 
He is scheduled to visit Norway, Denmark and Austria from August 22 to 27.
 
Russia and Canada have overlapping claims to the North Pole as well as large swathes of the Arctic that the US Geological Survey thinks could hold vast amounts of undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves.
 
All parties agreed to abide by international law to solve potential disagreements, but recently Russia and the West have been mired in an expanding East-West trade war over a bloody conflict in Ukraine.
 
Asserting sovereignty over an expansive Arctic archipelago and surrounding waters has been a key policy of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government.
 
"The Arctic is fundamental to Canada's national identity and will play a role in Canada's future prosperity," Baird said. "Canada remains committed to working closely with other Arctic states, such as Norway and Denmark, to promote and protect its northern interests and to cooperate on a broader vision for the region."
 
The melting of the ice cap also offers shorter shipping routes between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, which has attracted the interest of countries far from the Arctic region, including China.

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MILITARY

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes

Denmark's government on Friday decried two Russian aircraft violating Danish airspace and summoned   Moscow's ambassador over the incident.

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes
Russian MiG fighter jets. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The defence ministry in one NATO’s founding members said fighter jets had been scrambled to counter the incursion on Friday,  Ritzau news agency reported.

“Completely unacceptable that Russian planes violate Danish airspace, even twice in one day,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a post to Twitter.

Kofod added that the repeat violation made it look like a “deliberate action”.

“We are still examining the details, but I have already taken the initiative to summon the Russian ambassador for a talk at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs,” the foreign minister said.

The violations had occurred over the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden.

“It is very rare that we see this type of violation of Danish airspace, so two in the same day must be deemed to be serious,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told Ritzau.

According to the agency, Russia has repeatedly flown over Danish airspace and in August 2020, a Russian B52 bomber also flew over Bornholm.

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