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U.S., UK, Norway, Finland deployed ships, aircraft to monitor Russian exercise in Arctic

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) – Russia’s Northern Fleet has reported intensified activity on the part of foreign intelligence services during a major Russian exercise in the Arctic.

"Over the period of preparations for the exercise and during it, we observed a high intensity of marine and air reconnaissance by foreign states, the North Atlantic Alliance, and some of its member states, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway," the press service for the Northern Fleet said.

"Base patrol and reconnaissance aircraft of the United States, Norway, and Finland performed up to 17 flights over the Barents Sea and in the areas of Finland bordering the Russian Federation," the press service said.

For the purpose of enhancing marine intelligence, the British Royal Navy’s Echo hydrographic ship and HMS Lancaster frigate were deployed to the Barents Sea, alongside the Norwegian reconnaissance ship FS Marjata, it said.

The Northern Fleet announced the beginning of a largescale Arctic exercise on September 9. The exercise involved about 50 ships, 120 planes and helicopters, and about 8,000 troops.