NATO must boost presence in Arctic: Stoltenberg

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The Western military alliance NATO must boost its role in the region around the North Pole given Russia’s recent military activities there, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“NATO must increase its presence in the Arctic,” Stoltenberg told Germany’s 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 in the Arctic region.

The Arctic area is shared among a slew of countries including the U.S., Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Russia.

China has eyes on the territory, too, calling itself a “near-Arctic state” and seeking ways to expand its access for economic and other reasons.

On Friday, Washington announced plans to establish a new ambassador-at-large position focused on the Arctic. The decision comes amid unusually tense relations between Washington and Moscow due to Russia’s war on Ukraine, and it was made following consultations with U.S. lawmakers, among others.