Russia has released plans to restrict the passage of foreign warships in the Arctic Ocean next year. Russia has worked hurriedly to reassert its military presence in the Arctic frontier and secure access to a strategic northern shipping corridor — the Northern Sea Route — between Asia and Europe. The corridor takes about two weeks less to traverse than the Suez Canal. On November 28, Defense Ministry spokesman Mikhail Mizintsev said that Russia’s ministries were working on amending legislation that would require foreign warships to notify Russia before being able to pass through the Arctic.

Russian legislation that requires Russian permission to pass through the Arctic should be viewed as a direct threat to US security and national interests. Due to rapid climate change, passages through the Arctic that would decrease travel time have opened up. In response, Russia is fortifying the Arctic, pouring in money and missiles, building a new generation of nuclear icebreakers and opening new bases in the biggest Arctic military push since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Considering my paper is on US-Russian Militarization in the Arctic, I think this leads to an interesting reevaluation of US goals in the region. If Russia continues to assert its dominance in the region, the US cannot peacefully sit back and watch.


-Christiana Meyers