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News > Russia

Russian Fleet Conducts Drills to Protect the Northern Sea Route

  • A Russian submarine at the Northern Sea Route, Sept. 19, 2023.

    A Russian submarine at the Northern Sea Route, Sept. 19, 2023. | Photo: X/ @FlashFactsHub

Published 19 September 2023

Russia also announced its decision to withdraw from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russia's Pacific Fleet is holding tactical military exercises aimed at protecting the Northern Sea Route.


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The "Finval-2023" exercises are taking place in the waters of the Chukchi and Bering Seas as well as on the Chukotka Peninsula, according to the defense ministry.

Around 10,000 military personnel and more than 50 units of military equipment are involved in the exercises, it said. Among those are naval aircraft and helicopters, and coastal defense missile systems.

During the first phase of the drills, Russian forces conducted combat exercises that focused on defeating a group of ships in the northeastern part of the Bering Sea. Military personnel practiced conducting missile strikes from a guided-missile cruiser, a nuclear submarine, and a coastal defense missile system.

The drills also involved missile and artillery firing, as well as exercises on anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-landing defense.

All of the exercises "are defensive in nature" and intended to improve "the training of forces and troops" during operations on Russia's northeastern borders, according to the ministry.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that Russia has made the decision to withdraw from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC).

The BEAC "has been a useful and effective format for cross-border interaction" throughout 30 years, and has contributed to the maintenance of peace and stability in the North.

Activities of the council have been paralyzed since March 2022, due to the council's Western members, and Finland has not confirmed its readiness to transfer the chairmanship of the BEAC on to Russia in October 2023.

"Under the current conditions, we are forced to announce the withdrawal of Russia from the BEAC," the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

"Russia will continue to implement its national goals in the North. We remain open for interaction with everyone, who is committed to a constructive approach, and is ready for equal dialogue and mutually beneficial teamwork," it said.

The BEAC was established in 1993, and its objective is to promote stability and sustainable development in the Barents region. 

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