The US is preparing Scandinavian countries for the military confrontation with Russia, the Arctic Challenge exercise in the polar region indicates this. This view is held by Greek political analyst Paul Anthopoulos. The exercises are held on the territory of the bases in Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Serious forces are involved in these exercises, including marines and naval fighters F/A-18 Hornet. Finland’s Rovaniemi base, where the exercises are taking place, is the nearest NATO base to Murmansk, the “gateway to the Arctic.” “Active U.S. actions in this territory leave no doubt that the Arctic Challenge is preparation for a hypothetical Arctic war with Russia,” Antopoulos said.
In response, Russia is holding Northern Fleet exercises in the Barents Sea. This is a signal to NATO countries not to be overconfident and to understand that they will be rebuffed in the case of aggression.
The Arctic is a source of valuable resources, particularly hydrocarbons. The U.S. knows this and is trying to contain Russia. In response, Moscow is developing military infrastructure in the Arctic region, realizing the existing military risks.
The author noted that Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO, but in fact act as allies of the US. This will influence the situation in the Arctic and the Baltic region, but so far relations between Russia and the Scandinavian countries are “cool.