by WorldTribune Staff, September 30, 2018
Britain plans to send 800 troops to the Arctic in 2019 in an effort to stop Russia’s land grab in the region, the UK’s defense secretary said.
Ministers are drawing up a new strategy to deploy hundreds of commandos to Norway to deal with the growing threat from Russia “in our back yard,” Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said.
President Vladimir Putin has intensified Russian activity in the Arctic by re-opening Soviet-era bases not used in years and increasing submarine activity “very close to the level that it was at the Cold War, and it’s right that we start responding to that,” Williamson told the Sunday Telegraph.
“If we could turn back the clock 10 years many people thought that the era of submarine activity in the High North, in the North Atlantic, and the threat that it posed did disappear with the fall of the Berlin Wall. This threat has really come back to the fore,” Williamson said.
Britain’s new strategy will see the deployment of 800 Royal Marine and Army commandos to Norway every winter for the next decade, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
“If we want to be protecting our interests in what is effectively our own back yard this is something we need to be doing,” Williamson said.
In November Britain will deploy 3,000 troops as part of a 40,000-strong NATO training exercise in the Arctic.