In November, the Russian K-550 nuclear ballistic submarine Alexander Nevsky, submerged in the Barents Sea between Russia and the North Pole, successfully launched a missile that travelled its prescribed course to Kamchatka in Russia’s far east. The Alexander Nevsky thus joins two other Russian nuclear submarines, which have, in the course of the autumn, conducted successful ballistic missile tests.
© Reuters/Scanpix

According to Newsweek, Russia has thus embarked on a mission to leave footprints in the Arctic. Home to the world's biggest untapped fossil fuel reserves, the region is a competition ground for several northern nations making claim to the Arctic and its resources.

Indeed, if a second cold war unfolded, the front line would be not just along the Baltic states but right here in the Arctic, between Norway and Russia, according to Newsweek.

"Russia’s military actions on the European side of the Arctic worry Denmark as well as other Arctic nations," reports Rear Admiral Nils Wang, commandant of the Danish Defence College and one of the country’s leading Arctic experts. "Though its reopened military bases also have a coastguard function, Russia is using them to send a strong message to the world and its own citizens that it will defend its Arctic presence if necessary. But the Arctic resources both off-shore and on-shore have already been allocated to the five Arctic coastal nations, so a conflict in the Arctic would more likely be a spillover from conflicts elsewhere, for example Ukraine." Denmark, too, has a new Arctic command, while Canada – long an aspiring Arctic superpower – makes its presence known by regularly dispatching naval vessels carrying Canadian flags and sometimes government ministers.

Read the entire story on Newsweek.

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