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US-Russia relations test prior to the possibility of a summit

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, seen on May 16, 2021, will depart Andrews Air Force Base near Washington to focus on the future of the Arctic Circle and its relationship with the United States, Russia and China.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken set out on Sunday for a future-focused trip to the Arctic Circle. This is a test of heightened tensions with China and tense US relations with Russia prior to the expected Biden Putin summit.

Blinken will first travel to Copenhagen, where he will meet with Danish leaders on Wednesday and Thursday before going to Iceland for the Council of Ministers of the Arctic Council of eight countries.

The Arctic Circle is a vast region of extreme and difficult to live conditions, and in recent years there has been a geopolitical competition between the countries that form the Arctic Council (US, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland). It is a place.

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Unfortunately in Washington, the Arctic is also coveted by China. China has only “observer” status in the council, but has established itself as a force in the “quasi-Arctic Circle.”

In a recent briefing with reporters, Arctic US coordinator James Dehart said, “I’m not saying no to all China’s activities and investment, but compliance with international rules and high standards. Is insisting. “

-Greenland is not for sale-

The Republican president has advanced the idea that the United States may buy Greenland, which has its vast Arctic territory, from Denmark-the idea is “ridiculous” and the territory is “not for sale.” He elicited an angry counter-argument from Copenhagen.

More seriously, Blinken’s predecessor Mike Pompeo held the final meeting of the Arctic Council when he took an unprecedented step to thwart the group’s last communiqué because he mentioned climate change. It shook.

The American message changed radically with Biden’s arrival at the White House, as the new president made the fight against global warming one of his priorities.

The council will now issue a common “strategic plan” for the next decade with a final communiqué already approved by eight ministries, said Marcia Bernicat, a senior State Department official dealing with environmental issues.

She said recent studies have shown that the Arctic is warming “three times faster than the rest of the world.”

Blinken and Lavrov consider “the whole of bilateral relations-good, evil, and in between,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Biden, determined to clearly break what many saw as Trump’s obedient relationship with Putin, went as far as to consider Russian leaders as “murderers.” Rivals imposed Tit-for-Tat sanctions shortly after Biden’s election.

This is the main purpose of the United States at the Reykjavik conference, and it is expected that the first Biden-Putin summit in Europe will be confirmed in June.

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US-Russia relations test prior to the possibility of a summit

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