'A good working relationship'

Another leaked cable sheds light on our pitched battle with the Russians for the Arctic.

One cable drafted by U.S. diplomats in Ottawa portrays Mr. Harper as dismissing the need for a military response to Russia over the Arctic. It includes an account from a Canadian official of a January, 2010, meeting between Mr. Harper and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in which the PM said NATO has no role in the Arctic.

“According to PM Harper, Canada has a good working relationship with Russia with respect to the Arctic, and a NATO presence could backfire by exacerbating tensions,” the cable states. “He commented that there is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war, but that some non-Arctic members favoured a NATO role in the Arctic because it would afford them influence in an area where ‘they don’t belong.’ ”

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