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16 8, 10:40pm
Well, looks like shipping is gonna be going through the arctic, and once that starts happening it'll be a major route--shaves quite a bit of time off alternatives for a lot of things. Probably they want to control the shipping lanes. Sure, they already have Alaska (big mistake by Russia selling that to the yanks back in the day), but more is better.
Yes, probably oil and gas considerations are important too.