NATO forces Russia to respond in the Arctic
Demonstrating its ambitions in the north Defence Secretary of Great Britain Gavin Williamson announced a new Arctic Strategy. According to it, Britain will deploy the Royal Marines in Norway on an annual basis for the next ten years. In fact, the development of London’s defense strategy in the Arctic region gives rise to concern and calls for the regional countries’ assessment, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large and Russia’s envoy to the Arctic Council N.V.Korchunov announced.
He added: “We cannot fail to be concerned about the internationalization of military activities in the region by a non-Arctic country. This is an alarming step, which leads to mounting tensions and requires fundamental assessment of our Arctic partners," he stressed.
However, Russia has to respond to some of the NATO actions, and mainly the UK, not by diplomatic statements, but by practical actions. For example, on April 11 Moscow conducted missile-launching exercises in the neutral waters of the Norwegian Sea in response to the “Joint Warrior” multi-national military exercise which took place in the United Kingdom, predominately in north west Scotland.
These annual maneuvers are officially intended to provide forces with a variety of joint training scenarios that explore real world challenges. But in fact, London, with the approval of the United States, conducts training for possible hostilities in the Arctic waters. This is evidenced by the composition of the participants. Six out of thirteen countries are members of the Arctic Council and four are observer countries. The location of the exercises was also chosen for a reason. Scotland situated not far from Scandinavia. Moscow’s calls for retreat from military intervention were not reflected in the actions of the United Kingdom. The UK decided to deploy new fleet of P-8 Poseidon aircraft in the Arctic. Nine of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft will be delivered to RAF Lossiemouth in 2020 at which point they will begin reconnaissance patrols over a wide range including the High North and North Atlantic.
Thus, the actions of individual NATO countries provoke Russia to respond. Moscow’s calls for dialogue and peace remain unnoticed, while the countries led by the United States refuse to take progressive and diplomatic solutions to existing problems.