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Russian ship in the arctic

Reuters

Alarm raised over Russian Arctic oil shipments

Russia has begun using tankers designed for southern waters to ship oil to China through icy Arctic waters off its northern shores, which has worrying environmental and security implications, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Russia moved about a dozen tankers through the passage in the last two months and is beginning to use tankers without so-called ice classification — stronger hulls designed for shipping in icy waters. Because of Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow is increasing oil exports to China, and the northern route is shorter than the trip through the Suez Canal.

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Scientists ride their snowmobiles near Kronebreen glacier through the arctic landscape in Norway.

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Norway takes helm of icy Arctic Council

On Thursday, Norway became the chair of the Arctic Council, the leading forum for intergovernmental cooperation in the region. The transition has been muted, but the stakes are high: It’s taking over from none other than Russia.

As the Arctic heats up as a geopolitical theater (China has called it one of the world’s “new strategic frontiers”), managing it well is top of mind for Arctic states like Canada and the US.

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