Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Defends Arctic Military Expansion Amid Tensions With U.S.

Sergei Lavrov Bloomberg

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended his country’s military buildup in the Arctic amid U.S. warnings of rising tensions in the remote and energy-rich region.

“We don’t threaten anyone. We ensure sufficient defense capabilities given the political and military situation around our borders,” Lavrov said during a panel at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. “We will always be ready to defend our security, interests and territorial integrity.”

Russia, which has about half the Arctic coastline, is building new bases and stepping up air and naval activity in the region. The military expansion comes as countries gear up to develop the area’s untapped oil and gas deposits with climate change accelerating the rate of ice melting.

U.S. Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who heads the U.S. Northern Command, warned in January that the Arctic “is now the front line in our defense” against potential strikes on North America. He said in February that Russia was deploying cruise missile systems in the Arctic that would significantly increase its ability to control a large stretch of the Northern Sea Route, a key transport artery.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.