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Putin stresses Russia has no plans to 'militarise the Arctic'

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22 December 2014


Arctic landing-  AN74 pictured by the Russian Geographical Society 

The Russian president Vladimir Putin denied any move to turn the Arctic into a military theatre. 'Once again I stress that we are not going to engage in the militarisation of the Arctic,' he said. 'Our actions in the region are measured and reasonably moderate, and they are absolutely necessary to ensure Russian defence capabilities.'

The military infrastructure on the islands of Novaya Zemlya, Kotelny and Wrangel should be completed in 2015,' said Putin. He asked senior Defence Ministry officials to keep constant control over the construction, reported Sputnik News Service.

In February 2013, Moscow unveiled a strategy aimed at increasing its presence in the Arctic and boosting the region's development by 2020.

In April 2014, Putin announced  that Russia would build a unified network of military facilities in its Arctic territories to host troops, advanced warships and aircraft, as part of a plan to boost the defence of national interests and borders in the vast region.

The head of the National Defence Management Center, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said in October that Russia is planning to build at least 13 airfields, an air-ground firing range and ten radar and vectoring posts in the Arctic region.

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