AGiven Russia’s increasing military activity in the region around the North Pole, the US and NATO want to be more active there. “NATO must increase its presence in the Arctic,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Welt am Sonntag. Moscow is in the process of reopening Soviet-era bases and deploying hypersonic missiles, the most sophisticated weapons there. China is also showing interest in the Arctic.
The Arctic includes areas of various countries: America, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Russia. Washington on Friday announced the appointment of its first Arctic special envoy to “promote US interests and cooperation with allies and partners in the Arctic”. The US Senate still needs to approve the plan.
North is important, and becoming more important
In Stoltenberg’s view, the Arctic is of “huge strategic importance” to NATO. The Arctic region forms “a critical link between North America and Europe” and at the same time “the shortest distance between North America and Russia.” Additionally, Arctic shipping is becoming increasingly important as a result of global warming and ice melt.
The defense alliance “has already invested in submarine reconnaissance aircraft to get a clearer picture of what is going on in the North. But we will continue to step up our efforts.
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