Putting Blame On Russia For Militarization Of Arctic Unacceptable - Fleet Commander
Russian Northern Fleet Commander Adm. Alexander Moiseev on Friday pushed back accusations leveled against Russia for alleged militarization of the Arctic, saying that the United States and NATO have significantly more military facilities and personnel in the region
ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2021) Russian Northern Fleet Commander Adm. Alexander Moiseev on Friday pushed back accusations leveled against Russia for alleged militarization of the Arctic, saying that the United States and NATO have significantly more military facilities and personnel in the region.
"Russia is significantly inferior to the United States and NATO in terms of the number of military facilities in the Arctic and acts exclusively in the interests of ensuring the military security of the state, adheres to principles of good neighborliness and cooperation under international law, and makes steps to restore positions in the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union," the admiral said during the 11th international forum "Arctic: today and the future."
He noted that some countries accuse Russia of militarization of the Arctic region while building up their own military potentials, which is "unacceptable due to the significant international importance of the Arctic".
Many of these countries, including the US, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, already have a sufficiently developed infrastructure, including dual-use nature capabilities, and continue to improve and build new facilities, Moiseev said.
He noted that these countries have about 50 military facilities with 19,000 staff in the Arctic, including 22 airfields, 23 naval bases and four ballistic missile early-warning systems.
Moiseev said that NATO and the US regularly conduct military exercises in the region. In 2021 alone, 20 operational and combat exercises were held by NATO and the US in the Arctic despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
In June, a US administration official said that the US is afraid of Russian "militarization" of the Arctic. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Moscow does not accept claims about the growth of Russian military potential in the Arctic as it is only restoring the former Soviet infrastructure.
The 11th international forum "Arctic: today and the future" is being held from Thursday to Saturday in St. Petersburg. Participants gather annually to discuss social-economic developments in the Arctic and the regional agenda, including strategic and security issues.