MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia’s military modernization in the Arctic region is a source of concern for Norway, Chief of Defense of Norway Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen said.
“The equality between Russian military capability and Western military capability has started to come very close to each other, like it used to be in the Cold War,” Adm. Bruun-Hanssen told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Tuesday.
He added that while Russia’s scale of operation in the region is smaller that during the Cold War but “the difference is now we are talking about new types of platforms, new types of sensors, new types of weapons systems that are far more flexible and far more capable than we had during the Cold War.”
NATO officials share Norway’s worries and responded with stepping up naval exercises, the newspaper added.
Sputnik/ Alexei Danichev
On Monday, US Navy Chief of Operations Adm. John Richardson said that the US military would continue to strengthen its ability to operate in the Arctic Ocean while prioritizing other needs around the world.
Russia has been stepping up its military, trade and exploration activities in the Arctic region. It has been building transport and energy production infrastructure, as well as installing military facilities and developing the Northern Sea Route linking Europe to Asia.
The importance of the Arctic region has been increasing in recent years as the melting of the region’s sea ice has opened the possibility for further exploration of petroleum reserves in the area, as well as for navigation through the Northern Sea Route.