Russian military drones have begun making reconnaissance and monitoring flights in the Arctic. The vehicles, with a range of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles), are able to transmit video to operators in both day and nighttime conditions.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order for the development of the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic. The aim is to increase capacity from the current 4 million to 80 million tons in the next 15 years.
Hundreds of environmental activists have launched a fleet of kayaks, canoes and other small boats in Seattle’s Elliott Bay, where the Royal Dutch Shell recently docked its massive oil rig set to resume exploration and drilling of Alaska this summer.
Local officials are trying to stop Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling fleet from docking at Seattle’s harbor for the summer, saying that current arrangements go against the port terminal’s land-use permit. Shell has multiple ships and oil rigs en route.
Russian drones will start monitoring the situation in the Arctic as well as on a part of the Northern Sea Route starting May 1, authorities announced. The vehicles can be used in navigation as well as in search and rescue missions.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said the recent visit to Svalbard by deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin was fully within the norms of international law and the spirit of Arctic partnership that Norway has consistently demonstrated so far.