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Several NATO Countries Organizing Joint Arctic Operation, Royal Navy Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A number of NATO states will hold an operation in the Arctic, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy has announced, saying that the operation aims to help maintain peace in the region.

"Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland and RFA Tidespring will work alongside the United States Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ross and the Norwegian Fridtjof-Nansen-class frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl, supported by Danish patrol aircraft," the Royal Navy said in a statement on Monday.

According to the release, participants in the NATO operation, which builds on a previous UK/US operation held in the Barents Sea in May, will work in sub-zero conditions to further enhance their understanding of the challenging Arctic environment "while helping to maintain peace in the region."

"Royal Navy ships are leading a multinational task group into the High North in an operation that demonstrates the commitment of the UK and its allies to freedom of access and navigation in the region," the Royal Navy said.

Last week, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that NATO is aiming to return to the Cold War confrontation and that Moscow is concerned about NATO’s attempts to demonstrate power, including by intensifying reconnaissance missions and drills close to the Russian borders.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov raised the issue of NATO’s "destructive" activities in the Baltics in a call with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto in August.

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