Russia is expected within months to claim to the United Nations its right to annex about 380,000 square miles of the Arctic.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that the Defense Ministry should open its contracts to bidding by foreign firms if Russian products didn't fit the bill.
Defense Secretary Gates and his Russian counterpart will sit down for high-level talks Thursday. US plans for antimissile deployments are spurring threats that Russia might withdraw from the New START nuclear treaty.
After a few days of Western airstrikes on Libya, initial international support is beginning to fall apart as disputes arise about what levels of military action are authorized by Thursday's UN resolution.
If Obama fails to make good on his weekend vow to get Senate approval of the START nuclear arms control by January, Russia could turn toward China.