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NATO Tensions Reinforce and Complicate Russia's Arctic Ambitions

MIN READMar 17, 2022 | 14:59 GMT

A Russian serviceman stands guard by a military truck on Alexandra Land, the largest island in Russia's Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, in May 2021.

A Russian serviceman stands guard by a military truck on Alexandra Land, the largest island in Russia's Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, in May 2021.

(MAXIME POPOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ukraine invasion has returned NATO's attention to Russia as a strategic threat, which has in turn only fueled Moscow's perception of the Western security bloc as an expansionist force. As a result, the whole of the Russia-NATO contact line has been brought back into play -- including in the Arctic, where thawing ice is unlocking a plethora of natural resources and transit routes. For Russia in particular, new Western sanctions related to Ukraine increase the Arctic's economic and strategic importance. But the added financial strain also increases the complexity of realizing Moscow's ambitious vision for the region....

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