As Russia’s military presence in the area has escalated, the United States is preparing to name an ambassador for the Arctic.
A Department of State spokeswoman announced that the Ambassador-at-Large position will be created to advance US policies in the northern polar region.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a warning over Russia’s danger in the northern polar areas on Friday.
In addition, he expressed worry about China’s expansion into the Arctic.
According to State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel, the next US ambassador will interact with indigenous communities and other stakeholders as well as the other seven Arctic countries, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, maintaining peace and stability in the region is of “vital strategic importance” to the US.
The ambassador, whose appointment requires Senate approval, will be named shortly by Mr. Blinken.
While China has been constructing Arctic research stations, Russia is expanding its presence close to the North Pole at the same time as the announcement.
The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, said Friday during a visit to the Canadian Arctic that Russia’s capabilities in the region provide a strategic challenge for the military alliance.
He listed the difficulties as “hundreds of new and former Soviet-era Arctic military installations” reopening and Russia using the high north “as a testbed for the most modern weapons, including hypersonic missiles.”
Mr. Stoltenberg also expressed worry about China’s intrusion into the Arctic for resource development and shipping.
“This is a part of the rising strategic collaboration that tests our principles and aspirations,” he said. “Beijing and Moscow have also committed to increasing their operational engagement in the Arctic.
He also discussed the importance of the high north and how climate change is making it more accessible due to ice melting.
The nomination of an Arctic Ambassador was praised by Alaska’s Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski. She claimed that the US had been the only Arctic country without an ambassador-level diplomatic presence specifically for the region.
The incoming ambassador will replace Jim DeHart, a career diplomat who previously served as the United States Arctic Coordinator.