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Russia closes Arctic seas for missile tests, berates Norway’s Arctic policies

24 October 2017

In a series of navigation warnings, Russia’s ‘Western Arctic Seaport Administration’ has banned sailings in large areas of the Arctic Barents and Kara seas until the end of October, in order to carry out missile tests.

Prohibitions include those around the Novaya Zemlya island group and near Kildin Island north of Murmansk. The sea area warnings have been repeated by US authorities. The missiles are being fired in both directions across the entire Russian land mass. The sea area closures are more significant to Norway with its extended seaboard than to any other Nordic country.

The Barents Sea is used for test firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) by strategic nuclear ballistic submarines (SSBNs) of Russia’s Northern Fleet.

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