Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will travel to Greenland next week and seek stronger cooperation in the Arctic as the US sees the northern region as a future battlefield with Russia and China.
The State Department said Blinken will meet with Greenland’s Prime Minister Múte Bourup Egede and other officials to discuss “the strong partnership between the United States and Greenland and our shared commitment to increase cooperation in the Arctic.”
Blinken will head to Greenland after visits to Denmark and Iceland. In Reykavik, Blinken will attend a meeting of ministers of the Arctic Council, a group of eight Arctic nations, including the US and Russia.
Blinken is expected to meet on the sidelines with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, marking the first high-level in-person meeting between US and Russian officials of the Biden administration. The meeting comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Russia due to President Biden’s hostile policies towards Moscow, including sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and support for Ukraine.
Militarizing the Arctic is a key strategy for the US’s confrontational approach to Russia. Next year, Norway will host US and NATO troops for military exercises that will involve about 40,000 troops, which the head of Norway’s armed forces said will be “the largest military exercise inside the Arctic Circle in Norway since the 1980s.” Earlier this year, the US deployed bombers to Norway for the first time.