Moscow: Russia has declared of its ‘Trefoil’ military base in the Arctic region to have become operational and has invited the foreign media for a visit. Russia’s invitation to foreign media is claimed to be an exhibit of its military power. Only in the last month, Russia had organised an international conference for the development of the ‘Arctic’ region. It appears that increase in Russia’s growing activities in the Arctic region are clear indications of its efforts to gain supremacy over the region.
Russia has recently commissioned a new military base in ‘Alexandra Land’ area in the ‘Franz Josef Land’ region along the Arctic border. 150 soldiers have been deployed on this base and an airstrip has also been constructed for the military. Sources have revealed that very soon the ‘MIG-31’ or the ‘ASU-34’ fighter planes would be deployed on this base. This is the second military base that has been established by Russia in the Arctic region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had taken a tour of the Arctic region only in the last month. They visited the ‘Franz Josef Land’ during their tour. Apart from the military base, a weather study centre and a radar station has also been constructed. During the tour, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the importance of the military base in the Arctic region in protecting Russia’s interests.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, while emphasising the importance of the Arctic region said that the military and security agencies needed to implement projects to safeguard Russia’s interests, this incorporated its interests in the Arctic and its military preparedness. Considering the economic and strategic importance of the Arctic region, Russia plans to develop nuclear submarines specifically for the region.
The US officials have expressed their concern on Russia’s deep involvement in the Arctic region. Former US Army and Naval officers have claimed that the US was significantly lagging as compared to Russia’s engagement in the Arctic region. The US defence minister James Mattis has responded to the claim by confirming that an independent strategy for the Arctic region was being drafted by the department of defence.
Canada, Denmark and Norway along with the US have formed an alliance to counter Russian aggression. It has come to the fore that a special meeting of the countries involved in this alliance, was held in this regard a while ago.