From Christian Schwägerl and Christoph Seidler at Spiegel Online – Berlin Enters the Scramble for the Arctic:
As the Arctic ice melts, Germany wants to make sure its scientists gain unfettered access to the region. They have been hindered by the Russians, and other Arctic nations have been hesitant to cooperate. But Berlin also has its eyes on the bigger North Pole booty: natural resources and sea routes…
“No one others than the coastal nations should be concerned about the question of overlapping territorial claims in the Arctic,” says Rolf Einar Fife, chief international law expert at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
For the Danes, European Union solidarity ends at the Arctic Circle. Countries like Germany are only welcome as “guests,” say Danish polar strategists. Russian politician Artur Chilingarov, who is a keynote speaker at Westerwelle’s conference, planted the Russian flag on the Arctic sea floor in 2007 using a submarine equipped with a robotic arm.