Russian Arctic militarization a ‘strategic challenge’: NATO chief

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday stressed the need to beef up security along the alliance’s northern flank to counter Russia, as he wrapped up a visit to Canada that included a tour of its Arctic defenses.

“The high north is strategically important for Euro-Atlantic security,” Stoltenberg told a news conference at an air base in Cold Lake, Alberta, noting that with Finland and Sweden joining, seven of eight Arctic states will be NATO members.

“The shortest path to North America for Russian missiles and bombers would be over the North Pole,” he also warned. “This makes NORAD’s role vital for North America and therefore also for NATO.”

NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a US-Canadian organization.

The NATO chief and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured a Cold War-era early warning radar site, and observed Canadian Arctic military exercises.

Russia’s capabilities in the far north “are a strategic challenge for the whole alliance,” he said, citing a significant Russian military buildup in the region.

This includes, he outlined, the reopening of “hundreds of new and former Soviet era Arctic military sites,” and its use of the high north “as a testbed for the most advanced weapons including hypersonic missiles.”

Stoltenberg also expressed concerns about China’s reach into the Arctic for shipping and resources exploration, with plans to build the world’s largest icebreaker fleet.

“Beijing and Moscow have pledged to intensify practical cooperation in the Arctic. This forms part of the deepening strategic partnership that challenges our values and our interests,” Stoltenberg said.

NATO, he said, must respond with an increased presence in the far north and investment in new capabilities.

He noted that climate change poses new “security challenges” that requires a fundamental rethink of NATO’s Arctic posture.

“Climate change is making the high north more important because the ice is melting and it’s becoming more accessible both for economic activity and for military activity,” he explained.

Trudeau said Canada, which currently falls short on NATO spending targets, will soon be replacing its aging fighter jet fleet and modernizing its continental defenses in partnership with the United States.

Ottawa has earmarked billions of dollars for new satellites and undersea sensors in the Arctic, and the replacement of an aging network of radar stations from Alaska to Quebec that Trudeau said will “increase our abilities to detect and indeed deter threats coming across the pole.”

US creates Arctic ambassador as Russia, China competition rises

Washington (AFP) Aug 26, 2022 –
The United States said Friday it will create a position of Arctic ambassador to step up diplomacy as Russia and China increase their presence in waters opened up by climate change.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will soon name an ambassador-at-large who will engage with other Arctic nations, indigenous groups and other stakeholders, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

“An Arctic region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative is of critical strategic importance to the United States and a priority for Secretary Blinken,” Patel said.

Warming has been rising in the Arctic at levels well beyond the rest of the planet, raising the prospect that once impenetrable waterways will open up for both commercial and military vessels.

Russia has been stepping up its presence near the North Pole, both with submarines and warplanes, while China has been building Arctic research stations, widely seen as a prelude to a larger presence.

Blinken, at an Arctic Council meeting last year in Iceland, said that nations in the region had a “responsibility” to ensure “peaceful cooperation.”

The announcement of the new position of US ambassador-at-large comes as several days of talks open in Greenland on Arctic affairs.

Seven of the eight nations in the Arctic Council suspended their participation earlier this year because the rotating chairmanship is held by Russia, which has faced Western ostracization over its invasion of Ukraine.

The new ambassador will replace a previous US position of Arctic coordinator, held by career diplomat Jim DeHart.


Related Links

Beyond the Ice Age





Thanks for being there;

We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook – our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don’t have a paywall – with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.


SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter


$5+ Billed Monthly


SpaceDaily Contributor



$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal







US creates Arctic ambassador as Russia, China competition rises


Washington (AFP) Aug 26, 2022


The United States said Friday it will create a position of Arctic ambassador to step up diplomacy as Russia and China increase their presence in waters opened up by climate change.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will soon name an ambassador-at-large who will engage with other Arctic nations, indigenous groups and other stakeholders, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

“An Arctic region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative is of critical strategic importance to the Un … read more

Read More

Clora Antes