Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to “carve up” Arctic resources – oil, gas and even rubies – as the ice retreats.
They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim.
The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic.
The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.
The cables were released by the Wikileaks whistleblower website as foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council member states – Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland – met in Nuuk, Greenland on Thursday to sign a treaty on international search-and-rescue in the Arctic and discuss the region’s future challenges.
Phantom Report: World wide race for control of natural resources. Related: NORAD chiefs eye busier Arctic and Russia employs Arctic brigade to defend oil and gas reserves and U.S. submarines show force amid race for Arctic riches