ST. PETERSBURG, December 5. /TASS/. Russia should expect that NATO’s presence in the Arctic Region would grow in the near future, and so would the potential for conflict, commander of the Russian Northern Fleet Nikolai Yemenov stated on Wednesday.

“The Russian Federation should expect the expanded military presence of NATO’s united armed forces in the Arctic Region in the near future, and the growth of conflict potential as a result of that,” he said during the eighth International Forum “Arctic: Today and the Future”.

The commander noted the expanded presence of NATO in the Arctic Region, mentioning the Trident Juncture drills that took place in 2018.

The forum “Arctic: Today and the Future,” which was organized by the Association of Polar Explorers is being held in St. Petersburg on December 5-7. His participants will discuss environmental protection in the northern regions, the development of infrastructural projects, the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, the youth policy in the Arctic and personnel training. About 2,000 people from Russia’s Arctic regions and from more than 20 countries, including all member states of the Arctic Council, are taking part in its operation.

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