Moscow Ready to Cooperate with Northern Rim Nations in High North

28 10 2010

Bochkarev_Danila Comment by Dr. Danila Bochkarev

Climate change is a key factor shaping the contours of international security and policy-making. This is particularly the case in the High North, where the retreating ice cap is likely to create a wide range of new opportunities and challenges.

Melting ice cover facilitates the exploitation of mineral resources and opens up access to fish stocks and new shipping routes in particular, which promise shorter distances for trade between Europe and East Asia. On the other hand, the shrinking of the Arctic’s ice cap, while increasing the region’s geopolitical and geo-economic importance significantly exacerbates its environmental fragility and threatens the traditional way of life of indigenous populations.

The melting of polar ice, resulting insignificantly raised sea levels, would have grave global environmental, economic, and human security ramifications, affecting well-being of around 800 million people around the world.
Moscow is by far the major regional player in the Arctic. With significant deposits of mineral resources and fish stocks, Russia’s key economic interests are linked to the High North – the Arctic is home to 1.5 % of the country’s population, but accounts for 11 % of its GDP and 22 % of its national exports.

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Russia’s Northern Fleet Administrative Buildings Without Heat

28 10 2010
Several barracks and other buildings in Russia’s Northern Fleet’s main base in Severomorsk have been left without heating for several days after the Russian Defense Ministry has failed to repay the local heating company a €2.3 million debt.

The situation regarding heating in Severomorsk is critical, said the Northern Fleet commander’s press secretary Vadim Serga, according to newspaper Vzglyad. The Northern Fleet owes the local Severomorsk heating company more than RUB 100 million. The Defense Ministry several weeks ago sent a letter of guarantee on swift repayment of the dept, but the buildings are still cold, he said.

The fleet command is now planning to move several hundred sailors and soldiers out from of the cold barracks and into naval ships and garrisons with separate heating-plants.

Not only barracks are left without heating, but also administration buildings, a newspaper office, a TV-studio and a swimming hall.

Severomorsk is already covered in snow, and the temperature is below zero.

Watch video from Severomorsk on

Source: Barents Observer

Background Info
The Russian Northern Fleet (Russian: Северный флот, Severny Flot) is an operational-strategic part of the Russian Navy. It is the youngest of the Russian fleet, established in 1933.

The fleet’s headquarters are in the closed town Severomorsk, where the main base and administrative centre for several bases located throughout the Kola Gulf are located.

Russia Prepares Missle Drill Over the Arctic

27 10 2010
2007 Test of Sineva class missle
Russia prepares to test launch several intercontinental ballistic missiles over the Arctic the next couple of days.

On Thursday the Russian navy will launch intercontinental missiles of the Sineva class from nuclear submarines in the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific, a military source told Interfax. At the same time there will be launches from strategic missile complexes based on land.

According to the source, the U.S. has been informed about the test launches, in accordance with existing agreements.

The last time a Sineva missile was launched from Arctic waters, was in August this year, when the Northern Fleet’s Delta IV class nuclear powered submarine “Tula” launched two ballistic missiles from the Barents Sea to the Kamchatka Peninsula, as BarentsObserver reported. Also the Northern Fleet’s Delta IV class submarine ”Yekaterinburg” has been used for launching Sineva missiles from the Barents Sea. Which of the six Delta IV subs belonging to the North Fleet that are going to launch missiles on Thursday, remains unknown.

The training will involve various components of offensive and defensive strategic weapons. Also the preparedness of space and ground echelons of missile warning systems and the anti-missile defense will be tested, said Interfax’ source.

The next day, on Friday, Russia plans to test launch another one of its brand new sub-launched ballistic missiles of the Bulava class. The launch will probably be conducted from the rebuilt Typhoon-class nuclear submarine “Dmitry Donskoy”, the only sub so far to launch the hi-tech ballistic missile. It has earlier been said that if the next test is a success, the planned third test launch this year could be conducted from the submarine “Yury Dolgoruky”, the first of Russia’s fourth generation strategic Borey-class subs.

Source:  BarentsObserver

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