ALEXANDRA LAND, high-latitude Arctic, March 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Defense Ministry and FSB Security Service to ensure protection of national interests in the Arctic.
"The Defense Ministry, Federal Security Service and its border branch need to implement their plans aimed at protecting national interests from the point of view of bolstering the country’s defense capabilities and protecting our interests in the Arctic along with normal operation of the Northern Sea Route," Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a meeting on the Arctic development.
"Many facilities of the Defense Ministry could be of so called dual use and they could and even should assist civil agencies in implementing the goals set before them," he added.
Vladimir Putin has also told the cabinet of ministers to speed up preparation of a program for social and economic development of the Arctic areas.
On Wednesday, Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spent a workday in high-latitude Arctic, on Alexandra Land, an island that is part of Franz Josef Land archipelago.
"I’d like to ask the government of the Russian Federation to speed up finalization of a new version of the state program for social and economic development of the Arctic areas," Putin said.
"It should spell out novel approaches of private public partnership in the implementation of large infrastructure projects, including exploration and development of the Arctic shelf and a buildup of competitiveness of the Northern Sea Route."