Russia is building six new military bases in the disputed Arctic territory with an intention to protect its position in the global competition for the unexplored extensive oil and gas reserves, estimated at 90b barrels of oil and 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas, Mail Online reported.
Moscow will deploy troops and advanced S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to the Arctic, together with the nuclear-powered submarines, and two units of mechanized infantry to see off foreign intruders. In addition, Russia plans to build 13 airfields and 10 radar posts to monitor and control the territory throughout the year.
According to experts quoted by Mail Online, Russian military presence in the areas indicates Moscow’s determination to use force or the threat of force in the global competition. Further, UK and US submarines have also been deployed in the Arctic Ocean, while Canada was reported to have increased its military presence there.
The Arctic region’s borders remain unregulated. Russia, Norway, Denmark, and Canada have all made submissions to the UN claiming ownership of the Arctic seabed. In February 2016, the UN is yet to review Moscow’s claim to two underwater ledges reaching towards the North Pole as belonging to the Russian continental shelf.
Earlier in December, Russian oil companies OAO Rosneft and Lukoil PJSC had applied to explore blocks in Norway’s new licensing bid, which includes untouched areas in the Arctic Barents Sea, Bloomberg informed.