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German and Canadian defence ministers forge Arctic cooperation amid Russian threat

Arctic, where Russia maintains a substantial military presence, is considered strategically crucial should any military conflict with Russia spill over into Arctic territories.
A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker intended to clear path for trade ships following the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic.
A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker intended to clear path for trade ships following the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic.
German and Canadian defence ministers forge Arctic cooperation amid Russian threat

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has proposed a strategic maritime partnership with Canada and Norway aimed at bolstering defense infrastructure in the Arctic.

This announcement was made during a meeting in Ottawa with Canadian Minister of Defence Bill Blair, DPA reports, where both ministers underscored the urgency of securing the increasingly accessible Arctic regions against external threats, particularly from Russia and China.

Minister Pistorius emphasized the need for a trilateral collaboration to secure vital sea lines of communication across the northern Atlantic and Arctic, viewing this partnership as a critical component of NATO’s strategic interests in the area. “Let us initiate a trilateral strategic maritime partnership focused on securing our mutual interests in these pivotal regions,” Pistorius stated at the press conference.

The discussions between Canada and Germany come on the heels of Canada’s adoption of new defense policy guidelines in April, which prioritize the protection of its sovereignty in the Arctic. This region, where Russia maintains a substantial military presence, is considered strategically crucial should any military conflict with Russia spill over into Arctic territories.

Minister Blair highlighted the new vulnerabilities faced by the Canadian Arctic due to climate change and increased foreign positioning. “Previously, we could rely on natural ice barriers for defense, but with the changing climate, these are no longer reliable. We need a stronger, more persistent presence in the Arctic,” Blair explained.

In addition to the Arctic focus, Minister Blair also announced a Canadian contribution of 76 million Canadian dollars ($55.6 million) to a German initiative aimed at providing Ukraine with air defense systems. This funding is part of a broader German-led effort, discussed with Denmark and the Netherlands, to enhance Ukraine’s air defense capabilities in response to ongoing fighting.

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