Strategic significance of Iceland grows as Russian presence in North Atlantic grows

russian_bomber_planeThe growing Russian military presence in the Arctic and North Atlantic has increased the strategic significance of Iceland. All nations of Northern Europe must work together to counter the growing threat a Norwegian defence expert argues.Growing Russian presence in the North Atlantic
One of the authors of Norway‘s new defence policy, Rolf Tamnes, told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV the greatest security threat to Norway is the growing Russian military presence in the Arctic and North Atlantic. Tamnes argued that since Iceland is part of this region it faces the same challenge as Norway. The answer to these challenges according to Tamnes is a strengthening of NATO and greater military cooperation.

Tamnes points out Russia is extending its reach further into the Atlantic to provide cover for its fleet of nuclear submarines. Russia also seeks to keep other powers out of the North Atlantic and the Arctic. “They seek to keep other powers out of the North Atlantic” Tamnes tells RÚV. “Not only does this region contain Norway, but Iceland as well, so I would say the strategic importance of Iceland has grown from the Russian perspective.”
Tamnes tells RÚV that small nation, like Iceland, cannot face threats like this on their own. This changed reality has again increased the importance of alliances like NATO. “All the nations of Northern Europe should join that effort” Tamnes concludes.

An open seminar on military challenges in Northern Europe tomorrow
Tomorrow, Wednesday September from 22 11:30 to 12:30, Tamnes will be speaking at an open seminar hosted by the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland. The talk is entitled “A Unified Effort. Strategies and Military Challenges in Northern Europe.” The seminar will take place in English and is open to all.