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Russian President Medvedev´s warning caused Canada-Russia tensions rise

 

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) and President Dmitry Medvedev AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / VLADIMIR RODIONOV (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) and President Dmitry Medvedev AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / VLADIMIR RODIONOV (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Fresh tensions between Canada and Russia emerged Wednesday after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a session of his Security Council that his country must be prepared to defend its claims to Arctic mineral riches.

Medvedev predicted climate change will spark further conflicts as ice melts, exposing new areas for exploration.

“Regrettably, we have seen attempts to limit Russia’s access to the exploration and development of the Arctic mineral resources,” he said. “That’s absolutely inadmissible from the legal viewpoint and unfair given our nation’s geographical location and history.”

In a direct response, Canada said it would reassert its sovereignty over the Far North at what is shaping up to be a controversial five-country Arctic summit it is hosting in two weeks in Chelsea, Que., outside Ottawa.

“Canada’s sovereignty over lands, islands and waters of the Canadian Arctic is long-standing, well-established and based on historical title,” said  Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

“This government is dedicated to fulfilling the North’s true potential as a healthy, prosperous and secure region within a strong and sovereign Canada. We take our responsibility for the future of the region seriously.”