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Moscow Accuses NATO of Luring Extra-Regional Nations Into Military Activities in Arctic

Sputnik News

10:31 29.11.2019(updated 11:37 29.11.2019)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO increases military and political tensions in the Arctic region through encouraging extra-regional nations to engage in military activities there, the Russian Foreign Ministry's ambassador-at-large for international Arctic cooperation, Nikolai Korchunov, said.

"Internationalization of military activities in the Arctic region, which exacerbates due to NATO forces' stepped-up activities in the region, is becoming a more and more visible trend causing military and political tensions," Korchunov said.

He added that "extra-regional nations and countries that are uncommitted to military alliances" were being "lured into this dubious activity."

"Countries that are far from the Arctic have started including the Arctic into the area of their military activity," Korchunov specified.

The Russian official referred to the UK Defense Ministry's Arctic Strategy, released in 2018, and to the French Defense Ministry's report, justifying the country's military presence in the Arctic, which was released this fall.

In August 2018, Russian Ambassador at Large and Senior Arctic Official Vladimir Barbin pointed to NATO's ongoing military build-up in the region, citing its Trident Juncture 18 drills, the alliance's decision to set up the new Joint Force Command for the Atlantic based in the US city of Norfolk which would be in charge of the Arctic-Atlantic zone and Washington's efforts to re-establish its Second Fleet, mainly operating in Northern Atlantic.

US Seeks Military Supremacy to Control Arctic Resources, Routes

The United States aspires to military supremacy for controlling the Arctic's resources and transport routes, justifying its steps by alleged threat coming from Russia and China, Nikolai Korchunov stated.

"The US is solving tasks on ensuring its inhibiting defence supremacy, which will enable Americans to impose their conditions from a position of strength, under the guise of countering artificially invented Russian and Chinese threat. This is aimed, in particular, at establishing control over the resources and the transport routes in the Arctic region," Korchunov said.

Korchunov cited examples of Washington's activities manifesting these intentions.

For instance, the US is developing the northern segment of the global missile defence system, planning to deploy 20 more interceptors there by 2023, in addition to the 44 already existing units. Apart from that, NATO has decided to create a new Atlantic and Arctic command, and its Arctic drills are becoming more and more frequent and large-scale. In addition, the US Navy's Second Fleet has been re-activated.


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