For the first time in 30 years, Russia has begun deploying tactical nuclear weapon-armed ships in the Baltic Sea, according to the Norwegian Intelligence Service’s annual report.
“The Northern Fleet’s submarines and surface ships have the majority of the nuclear potential,” according to Norwegian intelligence.
During the Cold War, Northern Fleet battleships regularly deployed nuclear missiles at sea, but this is the first time the new Russian Federation has done the same, according to the report, Reuters writes.
While Russia has submarine capabilities, anti-satellite weapons, and cyber functionality that could threaten Norway and the NATO military alliance, tactical nuclear weapons pose a “severe threat in several operational scenarios in which NATO nations may be engaged,” according to the report.
The Norwegian intelligence also stated that the possibility of a regional battle escalating into a more significant conflict, including the United States, NATO, and Norway, cannot be ruled out.
While Russia will retain, modernize, and build its nuclear weapons, no significant changes in Russian nuclear doctrine are likely in the future years, according to the service.
Russia’s bellicose behavior, aggressive anti-Western rhetoric, and its ongoing all-out war against Ukraine prove that Moscow is a geopolitical enemy of the EU, which poses a threat to regional security.