Thursday, July 19, 2007

Russia Claims the North Pole

I saw that headline and laughed, thinking it was another brilliant spoof from the Onion. Unfortunately, it's not. From Time magazine:
President Vladimir Putin has long promised to restore Russian greatness and build an "energy empire." But until now, his empire-building had been confined to taking control of corporations operating on his turf, buying into businesses abroad, and blackmailing former Soviet Republics who dared vote against Moscow-backed candidates, moved to join NATO or acted in otherwise uppity ways. But Putin's imperial ambitions have recently added an element of classic 19th century-style territorial expansion: Late last month, Moscow signaled its intentions to annex the entire North Pole ...
What's so great about the North Pole? Well, the area contains 10 billion tons of oil and natural gas deposits, that's what.

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