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US, NATO countries intensify military activity in Arctic — Admiral Yevmenov

The practice of regular single and group cruises by ships and supply vessels of the US Navy and NATO countries has been introduced

ST. PETERSBURG, December 7. /TASS/. The United States and NATO have intensified military activity in the Arctic, considering it as a potentially conflict region, Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy told the 13th international forum The Arctic: Today and the Future.

"The United States and NATO countries have intensified military activity in the region, improving the ways of using military forces in the complex climatic conditions inside the Arctic Circle and expanding the areas of operational use of naval forces in the Arctic Ocean," Yevmenov said.

The practice of regular single and group cruises by ships and supply vessels of the US Navy and NATO countries has been introduced. The constant presence of nuclear-powered multipurpose submarines of the US Navy in the region is maintained. There has been a steady increase in the intensity of training and combat activities of US strategic bombers in the Arctic.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s department of information and mass communications Admiral Yevmenov stressed that at the present stage the military and political situation in the Arctic region was characterized by growing negative trends in the sphere of regional security, associated with the expansion of the NATO bloc and aggressive policies by the collective West against Russia. In particular, there has been an increase in foreign military presence in the Arctic and growing competition between countries for access to the resources and shipping routes in the Arctic Ocean.

Admiral Yevmenov stressed that over the past few years, virtually all countries in the region, as well as a number of extra-regional states had updated their doctrinal documents defining priority areas of national interests in the Arctic. Some of them, such as the United States, view Russia's activities in the region as a key challenge to their own interests and plan to curb the development of Russia's influence by all possible means - from sanctions to military force. Russia's main national interests in the Arctic, related to the country's development, protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity are the development of the Russian Arctic zone as a strategic resource base and its rational use, including full-scale development of the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile exclusive economic zone, as well as ensuring the operation of the Northern Sea Route as a traffic artery of national importance.

"The development of our military component in the Arctic is a forced measure to ward off threats against Russia and stem aggressive actions by other countries," Yevmenov said. The main instrument for enforcing Russia's policy in the World Ocean and the Arctic is the Navy, which plays the role of a deterrent factor and has been actively engaged in research activities in the Arctic region since the rule of Peter the Great.

About the Forum

The 13th international forum Arctic: Today and the Future is running in St. Petersburg from December 7 to 8. The forum is organized by the interregional non-governmental organization Association of Polar Explorers with the support and participation of the Federation Council, State Duma, Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant ministries and agencies. The MMC Norilsk Nickel is the forum’s general partner and the VTB Bank, official sponsor. TASS is the event’s general information partner.