FIRST AIRED: October 3, 2018

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00:00:00
>> NATO's steady shift in focus toward frozen landscapes like this will reach another milestone this month when it starts large-scale exercises, stretching from Iceland to northern Europe and the Baltic, its biggest in 16 years. This is Norway's Svalbard Archipelago, high above the Arctic Circle. Norway, a NATO member, is pushing this shift because Russia is doing the same on its side of this very cold location.
00:00:31
Reuters' Oslo Bureau Chief, Gwladys Fouche.>> The main concern Norway has is that rising tensions between the West and Russia internationally, including over Syria, could end up spilling over into the Arctic, which is a prime area of concern for Norway. The United States has not a strong focus on the Arctic in recent years, compared with other foreign policy priority.
00:00:54
But US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has recognized that perhaps this has to shift in the time forward.>> Norway has a shared border near Russia's Kola Peninsula, which is where Russia's Northern Fleet is located. Russia's also building new bases and fortifying old ones across the Arctic. This map is only a very rough view of military installations, but NATO and US bases are noticeably spread more thinly.
00:01:21
Norway has more, but it doesn't have any permanent postings of foreign troops. We met Norway's foreign minister in Svalbard.>> The area is increasing in importance for Russia. And we see that they are increasing their exercises. They are increasing also their presence, and also their mobility, most notably.
00:01:40
>> The Nordic countries have very different perspectives on the issue, informed by their history. Norway and Denmark are members of NATO, Sweden is neutral, and Finland used to be a part of Russia in its history and fought a war against Russia. What they have in common is that they are worried that a more assertive Russia could have an impact in their backyard.
00:02:01
>> The Arctic's strategic importance not only applies to its geographic location but, increasingly, its energy sources.
00:02:09
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