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U.S. Will Defend Interests in the Arctic as Russia Militarizes Region

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The Pentagon warned on Monday that the United States has its “interests” in the Arctic and that it will defend them in the face of increased militarization in the area by Russia.

According to the United States, Russia “seeks to bolster its security by remodeling Soviet-era airfields, expanding its network of air and coastal defense missile systems, and strengthening its capabilities” to prevent access to the area.

The Pentagon made this position public after CNN published satellite images of these Russian bases in Arctic territory, all within its national borders.

Washington believes Moscow has adopted this strategy in the face of the rapidly melting Arctic ice, which opens up new transit routes and removes natural barriers that Russia relied on to protect itself.

“Obviously we’re looking at this, and we have national security interests there that we have to protect and defend,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby told a news conference.

“Strategic competitors may undertake malign or coercive activities in the Arctic in order to advance their objectives for these regions. The Pentagon must be prepared to protect U.S. national security interests by taking appropriate action in the Arctic,” he added.

CNN showed satellite images of seven military bases in the Arctic, with Murmansk, near the Norwegian border, being the easternmost, and Providenya the closest to Alaska (United States).

The others would be located in coastal points such as Rogachevo or Anadyr or islands such as Alexandra, Kotelny and Wrangel.

These images show a strengthening of the bases in the last five years and in some of them a central construction in the shape of the colors of the Russian flag: white, blue and red.

Russia would be using these bases to develop a weapons program that would include the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, equipped with a nuclear reactor.

This torpedo would be designed to overcome coastal defenses, such as those of the United States, without being detected, the network said.

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