Jens Stoltenberg: NATO is for cooperation, not confrontation in the Arctic
NATO favors cooperation, not confrontation, in the Arctic, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, RIA Novosti reports.
"The Arctic is a harsh environment; it rewards cooperation, not confrontation. Any dispute settlement should be based on international law," he said in a Twitter post as a comment to the plans by the Russian Defense Ministry to build up military infrastructure in the Arctic.
Last week, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov said that the construction of the Arctic military infrastructure is expected to be mostly completed by the end of 2016, enabling the units and formations deployed in the region to be on station there and combat ready.
According to RIA Novosti, Russia has been proactive in developing its northern territories in recent years, including oil and gas extraction and the development of the Northern Sea Route which is becoming an alternative to traditional routes that link Europe and Asia. A number of measures, some of them military, have been devised to protect Russia's interests in the Arctic, all while NATO member states have also been increasingly interested in the region.