Chief Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre is shown at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on Nov. 26, 2021. Eyre says protecting the country's Arctic region is a key priority for the armed forces, warning that Russia has reoccupied abandoned Cold War bases in its Far North.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Defence chief says guarding Far North priority, warns Russia is back in Arctic bases

Defence chief says guarding Far North priority, warns Russia is back in Arctic bases

OTTAWA — Canada’s defence chief says protecting the country’s Arctic region is a key priority for the Armed Forces, warning that Russia has reoccupied abandoned Cold War bases in its Far North.

Gen. Wayne Eyre says defending NATO’s northern flank is a key area of concern for the Canadian military.

Eyre says the threat of a Russian incursion into Canada’s Arctic from the North is very low at the moment, but it could not be ruled out in the decades to come.

Speaking at a defence conference in Ottawa, he says Canada’s Arctic is potentially vulnerable because of its sparse population and lack of infrastructure.

He says showing that Canada’s military can fight and operate in extreme conditions at the furthest reaches of its territory acts as a deterrent and may make an aggressor think twice.

Eyre says Russia’s naked aggression toward Ukraine has given NATO new energy, but Putin’s recklessness has made the world a much more dangerous place.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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