Russian military presence in Arctic “absolutely necessary”, says Kremlin

A Russian Delta IV submarine pictured over the ice near Alexandra Island on March 27, during an exercise, with a likely blown hole in the ice to its left following an underwater demolition.

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Responding to CNN reports on satellite images showing the huge Russian military build-up in the Arctic, Peskov said “the Commander-in-Chief [Putin] truly considers the Russian military presence in the Arctic to be an absolutely necessary part of military development. ”

“The Arctic zone is a very important region of the Russian Federation, which applies to both our borders and our special economic zone. The economic potential is increasing year by year, you know that there are general plans for national development in the Arctic. area, and all this is systematically implemented, ”Peskov said.

Satellite images provided to CNN by space technology company Maxar detail an austere and continuing build-up of Russian military bases and materiel on the country’s Arctic coast, as well as underground storage facilities that may contain new high-tech weapons and the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo.

This unmanned stealth torpedo is powered by a nuclear reactor and intended by Russian designers to sneak past coastal defenses – like those of the United States – onto the seabed.

Russian materiel in the Far North region includes MiG31BM bombers and jets, as well as new radar systems near the coast of Alaska.

“Nobody wants to see the Arctic as a region that has become militarized,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Monday, addressing reports of the strengthening of Russian military capabilities in the Arctic.

“We obviously recognize that the region is a key terrain which is vital for our own internal defense, and as a potential strategic corridor between Indo-Pacific Europe and the homeland, which would make it vulnerable to increased competition, if you want, ”he said.

“We are committed to protecting your US national security interests in the Arctic by upholding a rules-based order in the region, especially through our network of allies and like-minded Arctic partners. mutual interest that we do it in exactly that order, ”Kirby added.

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Regarding these concerns, Peskov said “let us not forget that America itself has never given up its military presence in the arctic zone, has never weakened its focus on the arctic zone. “.

Russia’s rise to power has been offset by the movement of troops and equipment from NATO and the United States. The American B-1 Lancer bombers stationed at the Norwegian Ørland Air Base have recently completed missions in the eastern Barents Sea, for example. The US Army Seawolf stealth submarine was recognized by US authorities in August as being in the area.

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