Namely, Mr. Pompeo stated that China appears to have national security aims in the Arctic, while Russia plans for new shipping channels from Asia to northern Europe, something that needs a closer look.

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According to Reuters, several countries are trying to claim territory or increase their presence in the area, in an attempt to exploit much of the world’s undiscovered reserves of oil and gas, in addition to huge deposits of minerals and rare earth metals.

However, Mr. Pompeo said that all were welcome to share in the Arctic’s wealth, but stated his worries about the aspirations of Russia and China, both of which have been boosting their presence in the area.

The Arctic Council excludes military matters, but participants have already had disagreements, with the Washington Post claiming that the US has refused to sign a final declaration, on the basis that it disagrees with the wording on climate change.

Currently, surface air in the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, while the ocean could be ice-free in the summer months in a span of 25 years.

That may significantly affect the world’s weather and wildlife and indigenous populations in the Arctic.