Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announces plans to deploy troops along entire length of the Arctic, while Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is convinced there is no problem requiring NATO presence.
“We firmly believe that in the Arctic, there are no problems that require the involvement of NATO,” Sergey Lavrov said in a speech to supporters of United Russia on Monday.
“The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue is exactly the slogan we regularly use in Russian forums,” Sergey Lavrov told and continued by explaining that all Arctic countries are facing common problems and challenges, like the environment, safety of sea transport and dividing the Arctic continental shelf.
The day after Sergey Lavrov’s speech, Russia’s Minister of Defense told top military officers in Moscow that Russia during 2014 will complete deployment of military units on its territory all along the Arctic Circle.
“We have been very active in the Arctic region lately, and this year we will have a large number of units deployed along the Arctic Circle, practically from Murmansk to Chukotka, Sergey Shoigu said quoted by RIA Novosti.
RT quoted the Defense Minister saying: “We have set quite a pace in our foray into the Arctic.”
Wants more NATO in the north
Norway, Russia’s closest NATO member in the Arctic, announced already two years ago that the ambition is more soldiers in the north.
“Our ambition is a clear NATO footprint in the north,” State Secretary Roger Ingebrigtsen in the Defense Minsitry said as reported by BarentsObserver.
Solberg says situation is more tense
On Wednesday, Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, told VG that Norway keeps its fleet of F-16 fighter jets at home due to increased Russian activity in the north.