“The internationalization of the alliance´s military activities in the high latitudes, in which non-Arctic NATO States are involved, cannot but be a cause for concern”, the Russian ambassador and the chairman of the committee of senior Arctic Council officials, Nikolai Korchunov said.
In statements to the TASS news agency, the official stressed that such a situation implies threats to regional security and could cause serious damage to the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
He drew attention to the holding of NATO Cold Response international military exercises in northern Norway starting March 14 for two weeks, which, he said, do not contribute to ensuring security in that area.
Korchunov warned that these are the largest military maneuvers led by Norway since the 1980s and involved the participation of 30,000 troops from 27 countries, including NATO partners Finland and Sweden.
He also indicated that the probable entry of Sweden and Finland into this military bloc will have a negative impact on security and mutual trust in the Arctic.