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International relations

US, Russia and China seek edge as battle for Arctic heats up

Washington and Moscow butt heads over drills as China eyes new Silk Road branch

Russian nuclear submarines surfaced through the Arctic ice during drills in late March. (Photo courtesy of Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- The top U.S. and Russian diplomats will meet for the Arctic Council this week amid growing alarm in Washington over Moscow's ramped-up military activity and Beijing's pursuit of shipping lanes in the strategically important region.

"We've seen Russia advance unlawful maritime claims, particularly its regulation of foreign vessels transiting the Northern Sea Route," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Tuesday in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.

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