08:59 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Base of the Russian Defense Ministry in Arctic

    Conflict Potential in Arctic to Rise Due to NATO Increasing Presence - Commander

    © Photo : Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry
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    According to Adm. Nikolai Evmenov, commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, non-Arctic countries are seeking to establish control over the resources in the Arctic region.

    "We should expect a further increase in the scale of the military presence of NATO combined forces in the Arctic region in the near future, and, as a consequence, the growth of the conflict potential there," Evmenov said at the "Arctic: Today and the Future" international forum in St. Petersburg.

    He added that the list of non-Arctic countries attempting to gain access to the region includes Brazil, Japan, China, South Korea, India, and some European states.

    READ MORE: US Navy Confirms Arctic at Low Conflict Risk — Report

    According to Evmenov, the Arctic is turning into "one of the world's hydrocarbon production centres and a powerful hub for international transport communications", attracting various international actors that could threaten Russia's national interests.

    Earlier this autumn, the region witnessed the major Trident Juncture exercise. Overall, 50,000 soldiers and equipment from all 29 NATO member states, as well as their strategic partners Sweden and Finland, took part.

    The exercise, however, provoked opposition among some Norwegian politicians and was slammed for worsening ties between the US and Russia, as well as placing Norway between a rock and a hard place.


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