MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Last month's Arctic military exercise by the naval forces of Britain, the United States and Norway in cooperation with the Danish Air Force, which, according to NATO, was held to guarantee the freedom of shipping, arouse serious concerns, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.
"We are certain that such activities and, in general, NATO's growing military presence in the high latitudes by no means promotes peace and stability in the Arctic, but on the contrary escalates tensions in the region," Zakharova said.
As far as the Arctic is concerned, Zakharova said, London prefers to focus on military and political aspects first and foremost.
"In 2018, Britain was the first non-Arctic country to declare a national Arctic military strategy. British forces have regularly participated in NATO's exercises in the high latitudes," Zakharova said.
"We believe that if the British side paid attention not so much to building up its military potential as to expanding opportunities for constructive cooperation in the Arctic, this would better match the goal of strengthening peace and stability in this region," Zakharova said.
She stressed that precisely this constructive approach was enshrined in the statement adopted by the Arctic Council's foreign ministers in May 2019. Britain has the status of an observer in the Arctic Council.