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Putin says Russia will broaden its presence in Arctic region

October 03, 2013, 18:44 UTC+3
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BOR HOLIDAY CENTER (Moscow region), October 3 (Itar-Tass) -- President Putin has declared at a meeting with the activists of the United Russia party on Thursday that " talking about bringing the Arctic region under someone’s control is not a wise thing to do. This is an anti-popular position, not a patriotic one," Putin said.

"As a matter of fact Arctica is an inalienable part of the Russian Federation; it has been under the Russian jurisdiction for centuries, and it will be this way for ages to come," Putin declared.

The president reminded of the fact that the Arctic region is the harbor for the Russian Northern Fleet, and that a Russian military base, which 20 years ago was stationed on the Novosibirsk Islands, had been restored there. "The U.S. submarines are on standby quite close to the Norwegian coast. It takes a missile 16-17 minutes to reach Moscow from there, " Putin warned.

Russia hopes that the global developments over the past few decades will distance Russia from what happened to it in the era of the Cold War, the president declared.

Putin underlined the importance of the Arctic region, which “is rich in natural resources and is attractive for the development of the transport infrastructure and communications." The president also reminded of the Northern Sea Route, "which shortens time needed for the transportation of goods, and consequently, lows their cost". Putin assured that the state is planning to give support to a group of ice-breakers operating in the Arctic area.

"We will follow the course towards the enlargement of our presence in the Arctic region," Putin declared, but warned that "the vulnerable Arctic environment needs a very careful attitude."

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