Russia plans Arctic naval fleet as Putin celebrates birthday by tightening hold over Europe’s gas

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Russia plans new Arctic naval fleet as Putin celebrates his 69th birthday by transferring to make sure additional stranglehold on Europe’s gas provides

  • Russia introduced plans for a brand new Arctic naval fleet as Putin’s ‘birthday current’ 
  • Intended to assist Russia safe the polar area’s future gas and power provides 
  • Strongman has been accused of intentionally withholding gas provides to Europe 
  • He is attempting to leverage the bloc to approve a pipeline that might bypass Ukraine

By Will Stewart and Lauren Lewis For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

Russia has introduced plans to arrange a brand new Arctic naval fleet in a serious army growth as President Vladimir Putin at this time marked his 69th birthday.

The new fleet will assist Russia tighten its stranglehold on Europe’s gas provides by securing future power reserves within the polar area and giving Russia full management of the so-called Northern Sea Route for industrial transport. 

It comes after Putin was accused of intentionally withholding gas provides and turning power ‘right into a weapon’ as leverage with the EU.

He desires the bloc to log out on his new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, run by state power company Gazprom, that bypasses Ukraine – and has hinted he’ll pump extra gas into Europe if the EU approves the controversial plan.   

The veiled threats have despatched gas costs hovering throughout the continent as the chilly winter approaches and added gasoline to claims Moscow is intentionally withholding provides. 

Russia has introduced plans to arrange a brand new Arctic naval fleet in a serious army growth as President Vladimir Putin at this time marked his 69th birthday

A brand new Arctic fleet – the nation’s fifth – is meant to assist Russia safe future gas and different power provides within the polar area

Map exhibiting factors of origin and vacation spot of the Nord Stream pipe (strong line) and Nord Stream 2 pipeline (dotted line) between Russia and Germany

Details of the brand new Arctic naval fleet emerged within the early hours of Putin’s 69th birthday after a naval supply instructed state information company TASS the ‘new structure’ was ‘into consideration’. 

‘It shall be a separate formation throughout the Navy, and its duty shall be to make sure the protection of the Northern Sea Route and the Arctic coast,’ the supply stated. 

Currently that is the duty of the Northern and Pacific fleets, however below the blueprint they are going to be freed for ‘fight missions’ whereas specifically designed Arctic vessels will patrol the polar area. 

The announcement got here after Putin made a number of remarks about power provides to Europe, saying transport higher volumes of gas via Ukraine was ‘economically unprofitable for Gazprom – as a result of it’s dearer.’

He additionally identified new pipeline programs ‘scale back the quantity of CO2 emissions into the environment by 5.6 occasions’ and that European leaders ought to admit their errors in switching to brief time period gas contracts.

‘Today it has turn out to be completely apparent that this coverage is faulty,’ Putin stated. 

‘As a outcome, now the gas value has damaged all historic information and at this time it is already striving to $2,000 {dollars} per 1,000 cubic meters.’ 

The Georgy Pobedonosets is seen off Dudinka on Russia’s Arctic coast forward of a naval train within the area

A Russian navy submarine – a part of considered one of 4 of the nation’s fleets with the the Northern, Pacific, Baltic, and Black Sea fleets as effectively as the Caspian flotilla

The value of wholesale gas within the UK surged by £1 a unit to 400p per therm this morning – up 37 per cent in a day and 600 per cent increased than the beginning of 2021.

But costs reversed course hours later, sending the UK contracts again to £2.87, after Putin sought to stabilise the gas market by saying that state-backed monopoly exporter Gazprom might enhance provides to Europe.   

Critics accused the Russian strongman of attempting to stave off allegations that Moscow is attempting to ‘weaponise’ gas provides.

In response Jennifer Granholm, the US secretary of power, stated the US is watching Russia ‘fastidiously’, including: You do not need to see power made right into a weapon’. 

Meanwhile the brand new fleet has been dubbed a ‘birthday current’ for Putin greater than 20 years after he got here to the Kremlin presidency at 47.

‘The plan is that the infrastructure of the brand new affiliation shall be separate from the Northern and Pacific fleets,’ stated the supply. 

‘In the long run, it’s going to have ships and particular gear appropriate for the Arctic.’

Russia presently has 4 fleets – the Northern, Pacific, Baltic, and Black Sea fleets as effectively as the Caspian flotilla – however the proposal would see a fifth fleet added to the nation’s navy.  

The Northern Fleet relies within the Russian Arctic with a historical past relationship again to 1833 however has a wider function in – for instance – sending nuclear submarines into the Atlantic. 

A small Russian anti-submarine ship, project 1124M, pictured throughout a naval train

Putin visits the Franz-Josef archipelago within the Arctic with Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu

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