Reuters.- Britain plans to increase its military presence in the Arctic, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Tuesday, amid growing concerns from NATO allies about Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
London will commit the military “to greater integration and interoperability with countries like Norway” to protect the North Atlantic ocean, Wallace told a news conference in Bardufoss, northern Norway.
“We will have effectively, permanently, a … Navy strike group … active in the Nordic countries,” he said, adding that the force would likely rotate between Norway, Sweden, Finland and elsewhere in the region. that.
Wallace made the remarks during a visit to a NATO exercise in the Norwegian Arctic, in which 30,000 troops are participating.
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The biennial “Cold Response” exercise became even more important because of the invasion of Ukraine. Norway, a NATO member, borders Russia in the Arctic.
“Our Arctic strategy has made us commit to more training and collaboration,” said Wallace. “I think we’ll be in that zone a lot more. Our ambitions are bold and we will make sure we are there to respond to requests if asked.”
Norwegian Defense Minister Odd Roger Enoksen welcomed the compromise. “We want more allied activity in the north,” he said.
Although tensions in the area are low, Norwegian leaders worry that a confrontation between NATO and Russia could spill over into the Arctic, where both sides have increased their military presence in recent years.
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