The Pentagon warned this Monday that the United States has its “interests” in the Arctic and that it will defend them against a increased militarization in the area by Russia.
According to the United States, Russia “seeks to reinforce its security through the remodeling of the Soviet-era airfields, the expansion of its network of air and coastal defense missile systems and the strengthening of its capabilities” to prevent access to the zone. The Pentagon made this position public after the CNN will publish satellite images of these Russian bases in Arctic territory, all within their national borders.
Washington believes that Moscow has adopted this strategy in the face of the rapid thaw of the Arctic, which opens new transit routes and removes natural barriers that Russia relied on to protect itself.
“We are obviously looking at this, and we have national security interests there that we have to protect and defend.“Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said at a press conference. “Strategic competitors may engage in malicious or coercive activities in the Arctic in order to advance their goals for these regions. The Pentagon must be prepared to protect US national security interests by taking appropriate action in the Arctic.”He added.
The CNN It showed satellite images of seven military bases in the Arctic, the easternmost of which was Murmansk, near the Norwegian border, and Providenya the closest to Alaska (United States).
The others would be located in coastal points such as Rogachevo or Anadyr or islands such as Alexandra, Kotelny and Wrangel. These images show a strengthening the foundations in the last five years and in some a central construction shaped with the colors of the Russian flag: white, blue and red.
According to CNN, Russia would be using these bases to develop a weapons program that would include the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, equipped with a nuclear reactor.. This torpedo would be designed to pass undetected coastal defenses, such as those of the United States, the chain said.
The Russian response
“The commander-in-chief considers Russian military presence in the Arctic an absolutely necessary element of military (capacity) development. The Arctic area is a very important region for the Russian Federation, ”Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said in his daily telephone press conference.
“The same is true for our borders and our economic zone. The economic potential increases year by year and there are extensive development plans in the Arctic area that are being systematically implemented.“Added the press secretary of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
He also considered that the US has a similar stance to defend its own interests in the Arctic. “Regarding the concerns of our American colleagues, We should not forget that the US has never renounced its military presence in the Arctic area, it has never stopped paying attention to it.. And we have always taken into account and we have started from the fact that we cannot ignore this essential region ”, stressed Peskov.
NATO concerned about Russian activity
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday expressed the “serious concern” of the military alliance over the Ukraine’s upcoming Russian military activities, and highlighted his support for the sovereignty of Kiev.
Stoltenberg said he had called on Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “to express serious concern about Russia’s military activities” near the Ukrainian border and the continued violations of the ceasefire.
“NATO strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We remain committed to our close partnership, ”Stoltenberg said in a message on Twitter.
(With information from EFE and AFP)