UK to send 800 troops to Arctic, cites concerns about Russia

Britain's defense secretary says the U.K. plans to boost its military presence in the Arctic next year amid concerns about increasing Russian aggression.

Gavin Williamson told The Sunday Telegraph that the government is preparing a "defense Arctic strategy" that would deploy 800 army and marine commandos to Norway in 2019 and establish a new military base there.

The newspaper says Britain's actions are prompted partly by anticipation that Russia will keep expanding its presence in the Arctic and of a rush for the region's oil as polar ice melts due to climate change.

Williamson said: "We see Russian submarine activity very close to the level that it was at the Cold War, and it's right that we start responding to that."