NATO Secretary General visits Canadian Arctic

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Canada’s Arctic region this week, and there are reports of growing Chinese and Russian interest in the region.

Stoltenberg’s visit, which begins on August 25, marks the end of more than seven decades of Canadian government opposition to NATO’s involvement in the region, which was vetoed by the federal government in 2009. emphasized by doing Arctic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed Stoltenberg to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on August 25 to tour military defense bases and research stations before attending a briefing by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. On August 26th, they visit an air force base in Northern Alberta.

The visit comes amid growing Chinese and Russian ambitions in the Arctic.

“Strategic value”

China’s interest in Arctic resources has grown steadily for more than four decades, a former Canadian ambassador to China said in May.

Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016, said in testimony, “When I was ambassador, China was very interested in developing military exchanges with us. He also expressed interest in participating in Canadian military exercises in the north.” before the Senate Defense Committee.

“I have always warned our national defense because the strategic value of such participation would allow China to better know the extent of our operations in the north.

Meanwhile, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) General Wayne Eyre told the Senate National Security Committee in April that there was “no way” Canada could match Russia’s military infrastructure in the Arctic.

“The Russians have their troops stationed in the north,” Ayer said. “I’m not convinced it’s a viable solution for us.”

CAF Maj. Gen. Michael C. Wright, who testified before the Senate National Security Committee in March, said China and Russia are cooperating “in many areas” in the Arctic, but there are “differences of opinion” between the two countries. There are areas where there is,” he said.

“Met is an unequal partnership,” Wright said. “Russia [is] A very junior partner and it will become more so in the years to come. ”

The Canadian Press and Rahul Vaidyanath contributed to this report.

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.