Russia sets up permanent military base in Arctic - Northern Fleet commander

The Russian armed forces are setting up a permanent base for the Northern Fleet on the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean.

"The main goal of another movement of a unit of Northern Fleet ships to the Arctic is to deliver a Northern Fleet tactical unit's personnel, equipment and materiel, which from now on will be deployed for service on the New Siberian Islands on a permanent basis," the Russian Defense Ministry quoted Northern Fleet Commander Adm. Vladimir Korolyov as saying in a statement shared with Interfax-AVN on Saturday.

A unit of ships including the anti-submarine vessel Admiral Levchenko, the battleships Georgy Pobedonosets and Kondopoga, the tanker Sergei Osipov, the rescue tow vessel Pamir, and the Alexander Pushkin anchor handling tug supply vessel belonging to the Baltic Fleet has departed from Severomorsk for the New Siberian Islands.

"To ensure the safest possible navigation conditions in Arctic regions, which are complicated in terms of navigational situations, the movement of the unit of ships will be organized taking into account the specifics of hydro-meteorological conditions and permanent monitoring of the ice situation, in which Northern Fleet planes and helicopters will be involved," Korolyov said.

It is planned that the unit of vessels will be escorted by Rosatom icebreakers over some stretches of the Northern Sea Route.

This is the third major movement of Russian Northern Fleet vessels to the Arctic over the past several years. Northern Fleet marines landed on an unimproved shore of the Kotelny Island for the first time in the Russian Navy's history in 2012. A unit of vessels led by the Pyotr Veliky nuclear missile cruiser, the Northern Fleet flagship, delivered equipment and materiel to the New Siberian Islands for the restoration of the Temp aviation command outpost there in 2013.


Read more: Russian military returns to the Arctic

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