Interview with Aleksandr Pikaev

Aleksandr Pikaev, a political analyst from the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, commented for Russia Today on America launching the North Pole expedition, shortly after Russia's successful mission.

Russia Today: The U.S. ice-breaker is currently heading towards the North Pole. Can you tell us more about that?

Alexander Pikaev: Clearly the U.S. is concerned about success of the Russian mission. The U.S. and other Anglo-Saxon media exaggerated what the Russians could do. It was a very peaceful mission and Russians used two submersibles, one of which was used during the filming of the Titanic blockbuster to put a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole. But from some news, broadcasted by CNN, for instance, it was not clear that the mission was peaceful and instead of submersible they used atomic submarine probably in order to provide viewers with an impression that it was a military mission.

RT: Is this really a competition for natural resources or some kind of geopolitical game between the world's major players?

A.P.: I would say that geopolitics and resources are clearly intertwined. Therefore it was both geopolitics and resources. There are some ideas that the seabed under the Polar waters is rich in mineral resources including oil and gas and definitely all countries which share Arctic coasts are interested to keep them under the economic control, not only Russia, but also Canada and the U.S., Denmark and Norway.

RT: What does Russia have to do in order to acquire these Northern territories?

A.P.: Actually we are not talking about Russia acquiring a new territory. We are talking about continuation of Russian economic zone, which is not the Russian territory. Russians applied, according to the international law, for that seabed, for the continental shelf 6 years ago. They applied with the necessary documents for the UN's Seabed Commission and now for 6 years the question was under consideration by the UN's officials and now they asked Russians to clarify some points and that was the reason for the expedition to the North Pole which produced such an overreaction in Canada and the U.S.