President Biden’s administration is reportedly planning to send nuclear bombers to a U.S. airbase near Russia as a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government as part of efforts to establish a change in relations with that country.
According to Express UK, the military is expected to send four B-1 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear missiles, and about 200 U.S. troops to the Orland air base in Norway, located just 1066 miles from Moscow, with the bombers situated on the edge of Russian airspace.
U.S. missions heading for the Arctic Circle are expected to begin moving in the coming weeks. Drills are slated to be conducted in international airspace off northeastern Russia within the next three weeks.
According to U.S. officials, the move means the U.S. can react more quickly to any Russian activities that put national security at risk.
According to Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. air forces in Europe and Africa, “operational readiness and our ability to support allies and partners and respond with speed is critical to combined success.”
Until now, U.S. missions in the Arctic have been conducted from the United Kingdom.
U.S. Defense Department officials have said there are concerns regarding Russian military actions in the Arctic.
Former Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said last year that “recent Russian investments in the Arctic include a network of offensive air assets and coastal missile systems.”
For his part, former Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite told the media outlet Breaking Defense that the U.S. could use “freedom of navigation” exercises to secure access to the Arctic.
Since Biden took office as the 46th president of the United States, he has been emphatic that there will be changes in bilateral relations with Russia. He takes a tougher stance than his predecessor, former President Trump, whose administration maintained stable bilateral relations with Moscow.
According to Newsweek, Russian diplomats have expressed little hope for a thaw between the Kremlin and the United States in the face of widespread predictions that Biden will adopt a stricter approach with Moscow.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Biden administration’s policy for dealing with Russia is expected to be defined within a month.
Zakharova said that there have only been telephone conversations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“The way I see it, not only the team, but the approaches are still in the making. No approaches have been announced to the key issues, at least, those on the international agenda, yet,” Zakharova said, Russian news agency Tass reported.