ST. PETERSBURG, December 5. /TASS/. Russia will start building a naval cluster in Kronshtadt near St. Petersburg in northwest Russia in 2019, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.
"In 2019, we will start creating a naval cluster in Kronshtadt, which will help concentrate educative, scientific and applied activity in a single modern center and considerably increase its efficiency," the defense minister said at a visiting enlarged session on creating the Navy’s educational and scientific base in Kronshtadt.
In St. Petersburg, the Defense Ministry of Russia is pursuing its general policy towards expanding the city’s infrastructure, Shoigu said.
"Since 2013, the Defense Ministry has been engaged in the large-scale construction and reconstruction of military infrastructure facilities. This helps to strengthen the state’s defense potential and increase jobs for Russians, develop territories and boost their investment attractiveness," the defense minister said.
"The Defense Ministry has invested more than a trillion rubles [$15 billion] in the St. Petersburg economy alone," Shoigu stressed.
According to the defense minister, over 970 billion rubles ($14.5 billion) have been invested in St. Petersburg industrial enterprises and about 70 billion rubles ($1 billion) in improving the city’s infrastructure.
The Defense Ministry is paying close attention to preserving the cultural heritage and restoring the historical outlook of buildings while carrying out works on the city’s territory, the defense chief said.
"Over the past 6 years, more than 90 buildings and structures with a total floorspace of about 700,000 square meters have been built and reconstructed. About 80% of them have historical and artistic value," Shoigu stressed.
According to the defense chief, the buildings of the Military Medical Academy were renewed during the construction of the multipurpose clinic.
"The unique Fundamental Library has been restored. Over 800 items of applied decorative art have been renovated and a technical possibility has been provided for drawing up catalogs and transforming the rarest editions into the electronic format," Shoigu said.
The Defense Ministry’s funds have been used to reconstruct some facilities in St. Petersburg: the former cadet and now Suvorov military school, the Military Communications Academy, the Military Logistics Academy, the Military Space Academy, the Military Institute of Physical Culture that will host the World Cadet Games in 2020, the Military and Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineering Troops and Communications, the Central Naval Library and the tsarist Naval Minister’s Mansion, Shoigu said.
On Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order, the Defense Ministry carried out comprehensive reconstruction of the buildings of the Nakhimov naval school, he said.
Also, the Ice Palace is under construction and it will be opened on Navy Day next year, the defense minister said.