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US Military Buildup in Finland May Threaten Northern Sea Route

By Andrei Dergalin – Sputnik – 03.05.2023

A possible increase in the US military presence in Scandinavia in the near future following Finland’s accession to NATO may present a risk not only to Russia’s northern borders but to the nautical shipping lane known as the Northern Sea Route, warned military historian and Russian Air Defense Museum Director Yuri Knutov.

After Finland officially became a member of NATO last month, Helsinki and Washington moved to hammer out an agreement that would allow the US to deploy its troops on Finnish soil and to use Finnish territory and military bases to store US gear and military hardware.

With Washington planning to work out similar pacts with Sweden and Denmark, stability in the region may soon wind out of control as the United States moves to ramp up its military presence in the area, allowing them to control one of the entrances to the Northern Sea Route, said Yuri Knutov.

As Knutov explained to Sputnik, the Northern Sea Route – a shipping lane that runs along Russia’s Arctic Sea coast – has become a prominent transport artery of late, and Moscow now seeks to increase maritime traffic and cargo flow along that lane.

“Therefore, the emergence of NATO military bases at the entrance to the Northern Sea Route would require us to boost security measures, to bolster our Northern Fleet and maybe even to deploy our warships to escort cargo vessels in order to protect the latter from any provocations or from some restrictions concocted by Western countries,” he said.

The escalation that might ensue could be quite serious, but Russia cannot relent in the face of the pressure exerted by the West because it protects its interests and territorial integrity, Knutov added.

Regarding the exact nature of the US military plans for Finland, Knutov pointed out that Helsinki did not attempt to negotiate issues such as the maximum number of foreign NATO troops that could be deployed on its soil, which appears to suggest that Finland is willing to let NATO use its territory “without any limitations.”

May 3, 2023 - Posted by | Militarism | , ,

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