Putin orders Defense Ministry to focus on units' deployment in Arctic

Russia must possess every lever for the protection of its security and national interests in the Arctic, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia must possess every lever for the protection of its security and national interests in the Arctic, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"The formation of new forces and military units of the prospective combat configuration of the Armed Forces is due to end next year. I request that you pay special attention to the deployment of infrastructure and military units in the Arctic," Putin said at an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board.

He stressed that Russia "was intensifying the development of that promising region and returning to it" and needed to have "every lever for the protection of its security and national interests [in that area]."

Putin thanked servicemen and specialists for accomplishing a complex mission involving the restoration of a Russian military base on the Novosibirsk Islands this year. The president said that the islands "had a keynote significance for control over the situation in the Arctic region."

The reconstruction of airfields in the north and the Arctic zone, including Tiksi and Naryan-Mar, began this year, Putin said.

"It is planned to conclude - hopefully, this will be done - a state contract to draw up estimates of the development or, actually, the restoration of the Tiksi airfield and the construction and assembly work at the Severomorsk-1 airfield before the end of this year," Putin said.

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