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06.07.2011Arctic borders to get more Russian troops
Plans are still at the early stage, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has recommended the move, which he claims would benefit the region, militarily and ecologically, the BBC reports.
Following his recent visit to the city of Ekaterinbug, PM Putin said, “We are ready for a dialogue with all countries who are Russia’s neighbours in the Arctic, but, of course, we are also ready to defend our interests in that region.”
Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov’s announcement by comes three months after Russian military planners stationed a new mobile brigade in Pechenga, and just days before the Barents Treaty signed by Russia and Norway comes into effect.
News agencies in Russia believe that these additional brigades could be based in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, not far from the Norwegian border.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov tells Itar-Tass "The General Staff is currently working on plans to create two such units,” but continues, “The location will be determined, as well as weapons, numbers and infrastructure for the brigades.”
Norway, along with Russia, the US, Canada, China and Denmark are also attempting to assert control over parts of the Arctic, believed to hold a quarter of the world’s undiscovered reserves of oil and gas.
At the same time as vowing to defend Russia’s interests, Prime Minister Putin also referred to his visit last year to the North.
On an ecologically-minded note, he said, “I was terrified by the number of old barrels, once used for fuels and lubricants, which have been piling up for many decades near geologists’ stations and military bases there.
“Sometimes, these barrels become rusty and leaky from age, and the contents pour out. This is impermissible. If we don’t start to clean up the Arctic right now, the consequences may be very sad,” he added.
Neither the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Defence wished to comment upon the matter.
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