From the Times (UK): Competition for resources in the Arctic Circle could provoke conflict between Russia and Nato, a newly appointed commander at the alliance warned yesterday.

Russia has recently been aggressive in its pursuit of claims to parts of the region and in February sent a submarine to the floor of the sea symbolically to plant a Russian flag. Admiral James Stavridis said that military activity and trade routes would also be potential sources of competition around the polar cap.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London on Nato’s future direction, Admiral Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, predicted that relations with Russia will dominate thinking at the alliance.

He said: “This is something we are starting to spend more time looking at. I look at the high north and I think it could either be a zone of conflict, I hope not, a zone of competition, probably. It could also be co-operative . . . and as an alliance we should make this as co-operative as we possibly can.” (photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)