A TINY stretch of Arctic water has become a hotbed of military activity amid fears it could become the next flashpoint in a global conflict between the US and Russia.
Locals on the tiny Norwegian island of Vardo have seen an increase in military action through the upgrade of a critical radar system, Globus III, due to be completed by 2020.
The windswept outpost is just 30 kilometres from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, from where a fleet of nuclear armed submarines operates, in a bid to strengthen Russian presence in the Arctic region.
Norwegian author Bard Wormdal, who wrote The Satellite War, about the close and secretive military and intelligence alliance between Norway and the US, said there has been significant uptick in activity recently from both sides.
“This is connected to the tension [between] east west but it is also connected to the modernisation of Russian submarines. They do a lot of modernisation of this equipment,” he told news.com.au.
The $US120 billion Globus III project will improve monitoring capabilities for the US, but has been downplayed by intelligence officials in Norway, who simply say it will be used in the national interest. Russian media claim “eavesdropping Norway” has become paranoid about a Russian “threat“ that doesn’t exist.
However it comes against a backdrop of increasing tension following Russian intervention in Crimea and the Ukraine leading to fears among Baltic States they could be next.