[Rich, January 19, 2014, The Motley Fool, “Russia Builds a New Navy to Dominate the Arctic Ocean,” http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/19/russia-builds-a-new-navy-to-dominate-the-arctic-oc.aspx, accessed 7-7-14, J.J.]
The Cold War is over. Now we're talking global warming
Global warming has opened up 1 million square miles of new navigable waters in the Arctic Ocean. Already commercial shipping companies are beginning to exploit new routes.More crucially to Russia are the mineral resources made accessible by a shrinking ice cap. Already, 95% of Russia's probable natural gas reserves are located in the Arctic, with sizable deposits found in Russia's adjacent Barents and Kara Seas. 60% of the country's believed oil reserves are located in the Arctic as well. Local oil and gas giants Rosneft and Gazprom (NASDAQOTH: OGZPY), therefore, have a vested interest in defending these deposits... and searching for new ones.
Earlier this month, Russia announced plans to up the tempo of air patrols in the Arctic "significantly," flying Tu-142 and Il-38 reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The country also intends to reopen upwards of a half dozen Arctic airfields and ports, shuttered since the days of the Cold War.
According to reports, many of Russia's new warships may be tasked for Arctic duty to defend these interests. And if Russia actually does build itself a nuclear aircraft carrier,Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, former Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, thinks it should be sent to the Arctic to support the country's nuclear submarines.