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Russia Building New Tor Missile For Arctic Defense, TASS Reports

Russian state news agency TASS reported on March 2 that Moscow is developing a missile system for surface-to-air defense in the Arctic.

The news comes one day after NATO's top commander Philip Breedlove warned the U.S. Congress that Russia is increasingly militarizing the Arctic.

Russia has been beefing up its military presence in the Arctic as an overall warming of the region's climate creates increased access to natural resources and transportation opportunities.

The Arctic missile system will be based on Russia's Tor missile system, which specializes in short-range counterattacks on incoming aircraft or cruise missiles.

The developer, Russian state arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey, also designed the powerful S-300 and Buk missile systems.

TASS quoted the company as saying it has started research and development on "an Arctic version of the Tor short-range air defense missile system."

Last March, Russia conducted a major military exercise in the Arctic involving 38,000 personnel, as well as aircraft and submarines.

Weeks later, the defense ministers of five Nordic nations - Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland - released a joint declaration that Europe must strengthen military collaboration to counter Russian aggression.

Based on reporting by TASS and dpa