Russia has formed strategic partnerships with countries outside the Arctic council to further militarize the Arctic and take advantage of the vast resources the region has to offer.
Notably, Russia has dubbed China as a priority cooperation partner in the Arctic. The two nations have commenced a naval exercise known as the Joint Sea II that is expected to conclude on August 28th. This despite the fact that China has no Arctic territory.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov notes “China seems to have favorable prospects, because it has appropriate resources, technologies and scientific potential. But our Arctic should not boil down to the Arctic Council. Russia’s Arctic zone is the area where we can work on a bilateral basis with many partners. Of course, China is one of the priority partners.”
In addition, Russia has worked closely with China and India on a new research expedition to explore “oil and natural gas reserves in the Arctic.”