Russia’s leadership in the Arctic region remains a source of concern for the United States, US Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said during the Aspen Security Conference.
"Russia has a huge Arctic coastline, they have clear Arctic interest, they derive their GDP from there. From the security standpoint and the militarizing of the Arctic, that is probably the future place for a contentious situation," Schultz said during Thursday's discussion, headlined ‘Great Powers Clash in the Arctic: The Struggle for the Northern Frontier.’
"Those are the reasons we should be concerned about Russia, who is way ahead of us in this game, and the emerging aggressive China, who is pushing into the game," he is quoted as saying by TASS.
When asked by the moderator whether it would be better to cooperate with Russia in both search and rescue operations and militarily, the US official replied: "We have an agreement with Russia for search and rescue, we have the satellite system for mariners across the globe."
"I think we absolutely need to find the common ground," he continued. "We would like a peaceful, environmentally safe [Arctic region]."
According to the admiral, "Russian world view is very much based on the Arctic." "Here, in the United States, we think about the Arctic as a faraway place," he continued.
He said "Russia has dozens of icebreakers." "We have two," he continued, adding that China, which emerges as a new player in the Arctic, will "outbuild" the United States by 2025.