US Army's Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) said in its August 2015 report that Moscow is building up its military presence and moving highly advanced and specially modified air defense systems in the resource-rich Arctic region.
The FMSO notes that Kremlin will place short-to-medium range anti-aircraft SA-22 Pantsir-S1 battalions at Murmansk by the Norwegian border and at another unspecified location in the east of Russia, facing the U.S. and Japan, reports The Washington Times.
The report says Pantsir is the perfect missile system for Russia to deploy at its planned military bases in the Arctic.
Russia is aggressively upgrading its military assets in the region. The Kremlin plans to establish 16 deep-water ports, 10 search and rescue stations, 10 air defense radar stations, and 13 airfields along its Arctic periphery, reports Business Insider.
The new bases along the Arctic will allow the Kremlin to take full advantage of the are as the region’s ice melts and more natural resources become available. These stations will allow Moscow to project its military might in the new geopolitically important frontier.
Press TV quoted last week Geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser saying that “Russia is militarily getting stronger and that is what I think the heads in Washington are really fearful of.”
The report comes a just two weeks after the Kremlin submitted a request to the United Nations to lay claim to the North Pole and a large area of the Arctic Ocean.
The U.S. estimates about 15 percent of the world’s remaining oil, up to 30 percent of its natural gas deposits, and about 20 percent of its liquefied natural gas are stored in the Arctic seabed.