BRITAIN will send 800 troops to the Arctic next year to stop Russia grabbing land as the ice caps melt.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said ministers were drawing up a new strategy which will see hundreds of commandos being deployed to Norway to deal with the growing threat from Russia "in our back yard".
He said Russia had been re-opening Soviet bases not used in years, and an increased submarine activity in the area meant that Britain had to protect its own interests.
Ministers are worried that as the Arctic ice melts, Russia's President Putin will try to grab land and intensify its activity there. Climate change has also sparked a rush to tap into oil reserves there.
Mr Williamson told the party's conference in Birmingham today: "As the ice melts, new shipping routes emerge and the significance of this region increases.
"Our Poseidon aircraft submarine hunters, based in Lossiemouth, will track Russian submarines. They will keep us safe at home and assist our NATO allies."