There’s no stopping Vladimir Putin. The controversial Russian leader is seizing on a finding by Russian geologists that Russian’s northern Arctic region is directly linked to the North Pole via an underwater shelf, and decided that this piece of land should belong to Russia.
This is not an insignificant piece of land either. Putin has his sights set on 460,000 square miles of territory. That’s equal to the land mass of Italy, Germany and France, combined.
Needless to say, the prize is a bounty of natural resources, with twice as much oil as Saudi Arabia.
Even the most conservative estimates of untapped oil and mineral wealth in the currently frozen Arctic are in the range of many trillions of dollars. Unofficial estimates, the kind that oil and mining companies don’t make public, because they are usually guesstimates, think there could be tens of trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas, coal and various minerals up there.
Predictably the US has expressed outrage over the move, but given the fact that they are occupying Iraq and killing Iraqis by the thousand, no one’s really turning to them for moral leadership about stealing land and resources these days.