NATO head warns about Russian, Chinese interest in Arctic

TORONTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday warned about Russiathe army building of North Pole and China’s growing interest in that part of the world. During a visit to Canadain the north, Stoltenberg indicates the shortest route to North America for Russian missiles and bombers is North Pole.
He said Russia has established a Arctic Command and has opened hundreds of new military sites and in the Arctic from the former Soviet Union, including airfields and deep-water ports.
“We’ve seen the Russian military build up significantly with new bases, new weapons systems and also using the High North as a testing ground,” Stoltenberg said at a Canadian military base in Cold Lake. test their most advanced weapons, including hypersonic missiles.” Alberta.
Stoltenberg also noted that China has declared itself a “near the North Pole” country. He said Beijing plans to build the world’s largest icebreaker and is spending tens of billions of dollars on energy, infrastructure and research projects in the north.
“Beijing and Moscow have also pledged to strengthen practical cooperation in the Arctic. This is part of an increasingly deepening strategic partnership that challenges our values ​​and interests,” Stoltenberg said. speak.
He also noted that climate change is making the Arctic more accessible to the military and welcomed Canada’s recent announcement that it would increase defense spending.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeauwho accompanied Stoltenberg, introduced some of the spending and activities Canada is doing in the north.
Those are promises to allocate billions of dollars for new military equipment and capabilities, including plans to buy new fighter jets and modernize North America’s aging NORAD early warning system. with Washington.
“Russia’s wrong, improbable decision to spend nearly 70 years of peace and stability of a rules-based order by invading a peaceful neighbour, has changed the way we need to see about the North Pole,” Trudeau said, alluding to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

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