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Russia’s Defense Ministry to intensify Kuril, Arctic military infrastructure development

November 25, 2015, 18:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In particular, money has been channeled into building wharfs for naval ships, arsenals and cantonments
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© Igor Ageenko/TASS

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it would intensify projects to create modern military infrastructure on the Kuril Islands and in the Arctic.

"The current geopolitical and economic situation has prompted to specify the plan of building the Defense Ministry’s facilities. Budget appropriations for this year have been re-distributed to build especially important facilities," Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of the ministry’s board.

In particular, money has been channeled into building wharfs for naval ships, arsenals and cantonments.

State financing for national defense in 2016 will total 3.1 trillion rubles ($49.5 billion) or 25.5 billion rubles ($400 million) more than in 2015. Defense expenditures alone will equal 4% of GDP. In all, spending on national security and law-enforcement activity is planned at 2.024 trillion rubles ($31.8 billion) in 2016 or 26 billion rubles ($410 million) more than in 2015.

The Russian Defense Ministry is improving the military infrastructure on the Kuril Islands and in the Arctic.

Specifically, there are plans to prepare a new airport, Burevestnik, on the island of Iturup for military and transport aviation. Work will be intensified on Iturup, as well as Kunashir, another island on the Kuril ridge, to build cantonments and modernize the military infrastructure of the machinegun and artillery division earlier stationed there.

Military construction on the Kuril Islands is weekly controlled by the Defense Ministry during conference calls at the National Defense Control Center. According to data of the Russian Defense Ministry, "a series of combat training facilities and support infrastructure will be built there in 2016" along with 220 civilian facilities including residential buildings, kindergartens, sports centers, hospitals and stores.

The Defense Ministry is also stepping up work in the Arctic where army groupings have been set up on the Novaya Zemlya and Franz Joseph Land archipelagoes, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt.

Work is also under way to build seven northern aerodromes in Yakutia, Taymyr, Chukotka and on the Franz Joseph Land archipelago. The Russian Arctic covers an area of about 3 million sq. km. or 18% of Russia’s total territory.

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