In early March, the United States, along with its allies, will participate in the largest Arctic Cold Response 2022 exercises. They will take place off the coast of northern Norway and on the territory of the country itself - about 400 km from the borders of Russia. The military group will include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that this will increase tension in the region.
35 thousand soldiers from 28 states will take part in the Cold Response exercises. From the United States, an aircraft carrier strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman will participate in them. In addition to the aircraft carrier, it includes the USS San Jacinto cruiser, the USS Cole destroyers, USS Bainbridge, USS Gravely and USS Jason Dunham. Together with them is the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen.
Now the group is in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the end of last year, it was supposed to relocate to the Middle East, but the US command postponed this decision due to tensions in Ukraine.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, military exercises on the Russian border will increase tension in the Arctic. “Growing anxiety is caused by the internationalization of military activities in high latitudes, primarily due to the involvement of non-Arctic states, as well as countries that have not joined military alliances,” Nikolai Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Interfax. He also recalled the need to comply with the regulation adopted in Reykjavik on May 20, 2021. In accordance with it, the member countries of the Arctic Council pledged to preserve the Arctic as a territory of peace, stability and constructive cooperation.
Earlier, Norwegian Defense Minister Roger Enoksen said that an American aircraft carrier would travel to the North Atlantic in February to take part in the NATO Cold Response 2022 exercises. He also said that the British aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales would take part in the exercises. This was confirmed by the Royal Navy last week.
The last time the US aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman entered the polar regions of the Norwegian Sea was in 2018, for the first time since the collapse of the USSR. Then the aircraft carrier participated in the NATO exercise Trident Juncture.