A panel of MPs have warned that a resurgent Russia could mean a return to '˜great power competition'Â in the region.
In their report, On Thin Ice: UK Defence in the Arctic, the defence sub-committee identified the Arctic and High North as an area where Russia might seek to expand its presence and influence.
Although the Arctic has traditionally been an area of low tension, the retreating ice sheet is making the Arctic more accessible to shipping and is exposing the region's extensive natural resources to exploitation.
Alongside these broader changes, the sub-committee has noted an increase in military activity in the Arctic and High North that has been led by Russia.
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The committee now wants the government to appoint an Arctic ambassador to improve co-ordination of policy in Whitehall and bolster UK representation in Arctic affairs.
The report follows an increase in Russian naval activity around the region and in waters near Britain.