US and British Navy maneuvers into Barents Sea are a signal to Moscow

This post was published in RT. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


WASHINGTON, (BM) – For the first time since the mid-80s, under the supervision of the Russian fleet, four American and one British ship entered the Barents Sea, which indicates a growing intensity of the confrontation between the great powers in the Arctic, writes The Washington Times.

According to the newspaper, the purpose of this operation was to send a signal to Moscow, as well as to check the readiness of the Navy for action in any weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Norwegian officials refused to participate in this British-American operation – which speaks of its “provocative essence.”

According to officials of the US Navy, these exercises are necessary in order for the US armed forces to be ready to operate in various climatic conditions, including in the Arctic. However, the Trump administration does not particularly hide its intentions to repulse other states – mainly Russia, but also assertive China – that are trying to establish control over strategically important Arctic territories.

As expected, Moscow was not happy about the joint British-American operation. Russian media reported that the Northern Fleet is actively monitoring American and British ships in the Barents Sea.

So far, there have been no reports of close contact between Russian and American ships – as well as news of high-profile statements by senior Russian officials. However, as The Washington Times notes, recalling that it carefully monitors what is happening, Moscow sent a clear signal that it considers this Arctic territory to be its own.

According to American officials, on May 1, they notified Russia of an impending operation in order to avoid an “unintentional exacerbation.”

“Now, in these difficult times, it is more important than ever that we support an ongoing series of operations at the European theater, while taking reasonable measures to protect the health of our troops,” said US Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti. “We are still going to actively act for the benefit of regional security and stability, building trusting relationships and strengthening the foundation of combat readiness in the Arctic.”

Nevertheless, military analysts warn that the United States may seriously lag behind in the race for resources and trade routes in the Arctic, where with the melting of ice, many areas become more accessible for human activities.

Meanwhile, Norwegian officials said that although they support the allied operation, they did not allow their sailors to take part in it – which speaks of the “provocative essence” of the US Navy mission.

The United States has not conducted operations in the Barents Sea since the mid-80s. According to US officials, the decision to resume operations there was made because “the naval forces of allies and partners must be able to operate effectively in all operating environments in order to guarantee security and access to all seas.”

For the Trump administration, these exercises are a concrete step designed to confirm its policy of containing Russia. Speaking at a meeting of the Arctic Council last May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Moscow was obviously going to use its military power to establish tighter control over the region.

“Moscow already makes illegal demands that other countries request permission to enter. It requires the presence of Russian pilots on board foreign ships, threatening to resort to military force in order to sink any ship that refuses this,” said Pompeo. – “Such provocative actions are an element of an aggressive pattern of Russia’s behavior in the Arctic. Russia already leaves traces of its army boots in the snow.”


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Original source: RT