AIn view of Russia’s increasing military activities in the region around the North Pole, the USA and NATO want to become more active there. “NATO must increase its presence in the Arctic,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Welt am Sonntag. Moscow is in the process of reopening Soviet-era bases and stationing new, state-of-the-art weapons such as hypersonic missiles there. China is also showing increasing interest in the Arctic.
The Arctic includes areas of different countries: the USA, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Russia. Washington announced on Friday that it would appoint its first Arctic special envoy to “advance American interests and cooperation with allies and partners in the Arctic.” The US Senate still has to approve the plan.
The north is important and will become even more important
From Stoltenberg’s point of view, the Arctic is of “great strategic importance” for NATO. The North Pole region is “the crucial connection between North America and Europe” and at the same time forms “the shortest distance between North America and Russia”. In addition, the Arctic is becoming increasingly important for shipping as a result of global warming and melting ice.
The defense alliance is “already investing in maritime reconnaissance aircraft to get a clear picture of what’s going on in the far north. But we will continue to step up our efforts.”