Vladimir Putin is trying to annex the North Pole—again

Fusion

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing the UN to consider his country’s bid for ownership of the North Pole, revisiting a request first made more than a decade ago.

The New York Times reports that Putin is looking for control of an approximately 463,000 square mile swath of Arctic land and ocean, including the North Pole. Russia wouldn’t get full control over the area, but would make certain key economic decisions, like how to handle fishing and oil and gas drilling. This control has prompted environmental groups to oppose Putin’s bid.

“The melting of the Arctic ice is uncovering a new and vulnerable sea, but countries like Russia and Norway want to turn it into the next Saudi Arabia,” Greenpeace’s Vladimir Chuprov said in reaction.  “Unless we act together, this region could be dotted with oil wells and fishing fleets within our lifetimes.”

If the Kremlin were to take control of the area it would…

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