- Posted March 2, 2014 by
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Fight Over Arctic Starts From… Animals
In middle of February Norway based news website BarentsObserver reported an odd piece of news about very unusual representatives of Russian wild fauna. Citing police sources from Kirkenes, the site claimed that a pack of up to twelve dogs has been spotted on both sides of the Russian-Norwegian border during last few months. The dogs allegedly crossed the ice-covered river that separates Norway form Russia and were drawn to farms and houses in search for food. Norwegian authorities fear that a pack of stray dogs from Russia has settled in the Pasvik valley.
Pasvik valley is a wildlife sanctuary located on Russian-Norwegian border. It was established in 1992 with the main aim to conserve the parts of the river Pasvik where the original river bed is intact, conserve a wetland area that is very important as a nesting and resting area for numerous water bird species, conserve and study the northern pine forest, conserve the local elk population, monitor the northern ecosystems, conserve a classical locality with a rich natural and cultural history of great scientific and educational value.
Norway authorities, according to BarentsObserver, claim that stray dogs from Russia are unwanted in Norway because they can infect dogs and other animals with dreaded illnesses like rabies and Echinococcus (tapeworms). Both diseases have been found on the Kola Peninsula. Two wild dogs were shot in Pasvik in December and sent to examination, but none of them had any diseases.
Quite similar story with a back claims of Russia to Norway happened in 2006. Then, Pasvik valley authorities, claimed that Norwegian reindeer were grazing on the territory of natural reserve park and ate all of the reindeer moss, what affected on the natural park financially. Reserve specialists have to deal with uninvited "guests" on their own, by sending them back to Norwegian territory. Back then, the reserve management sent a letter to the Norwegian side, demanding compensation for land slacked off .
It looks that the Arctic race had started to heating up and on Russian-Norwegian side it is yet between the animals and their owners. News from other side of the globe are much more on a high-politics level — the United States announced that it plans to appoint an ambassador to the Arctic region Secretary of State John Kerry, reporting RussianArctic.com.
In the wake of Kerry’s announcement of new U.S. Arctic Ambassador, Chinese media made sure China’s own stake in the Arctic was clear. China will continue to seek increased cooperation with Arctic states to secure a role in developing newly exposed natural resources. China has also emphasized its scientific interest in the region, and the need for multinational cooperation in solving Arctic issues. Whatever happens in the Arctic, China wants to be a part of the decision-making—and to get a piece of the pie. It’s more proof that China’s interests have truly gone global.
So it is between Norway, Russia, USA, Canada, China… and wild animals!