Russia Sees UK's Sub-Hunters As Threat To Arctic Stability - Envoy

Russia Sees UK's Sub-Hunters as Threat to Arctic Stability - Envoy

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th February, 2020) Russia has warned the United Kingdom that the deployment of anti-submarine aircraft to the Arctic will undermine regional stability, Nikolai Korchunov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's ambassador-at-large for international Arctic cooperation, told Sputnik on Thursday.

Korchunov said he shared these concerns during a meeting with Jane Rumble, the head of the UK Foreign Office's Polar Regions Department.

"We said that the adoption of the Defense Arctic Strategy ... the purchase of Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft for deployment in the Arctic will undermine stability and raise military and political tensions in the region," the diplomat said.

The UK Air Force received on Tuesday the first of nine Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that were commissioned to the United States' Boeing as part of the UK security strategy centered on raising the military presence in the Arctic and the High North.

Russia, which is preparing to assume the rotating presidency at the Arctic Council next year, has been alarmed by the increasing NATO presence in the region.

Russia is seeking to turn its Arctic region into a green shipping lane. The so-called Northern Sea Route aims to open it up to navigation by 2035. Korchunov said he had discussed this initiative, as well as outlooks for joint research, with his British counterpart.