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MOSCOW, February 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Armed Forces will create a new structure this year on the basis of the Russian Northern Fleet -"Northern Fleet - United Strategic Command" (SF-OSK), which main task will be to defend Russia's national interests in the Arctic region, a source from the Russian armed forces told Itar-Tass on Monday.
The need for the establishment of the new strategic formation stems from one of Russia's political priorities - defense of Russia's interests in the Arctic zone, including ensuring security of Russia's military and civilian ships and inviolability of Russia's natural resources, including its resources on the continental shelf, the source said.
The new formation will have a status of a military district, but it will not be named so officially. The number of the military districts in Russia will not be changed; Russia will have four military districts as it has now, but a new powerful structure -“SF-OSK”, created on the basis of the Northern Fleet, will be added to them, the source said.
The new formation - SF-OSK, will incorporate the Northern Fleet, which will be withdrawn from the Western Military District and which will be the main combat force of the new formation, other troops stationed in the north of Russia, which will also be withdrawn from the Western Military District, and new formations deployed in the Arctic zone - in Novaya Zemlya archipelago, on Novosibirsk islands and in Franz Josef Land archipelago.
The SF-OSK will incorporate troops formed on inter-service and interdepartmental basis and will include border guard units; they will be controlled by the National Center for control over Russia's defense which is being created now, the source said.
The respective proposals drafted by the Defense Ministry and the General Headquarters were submitted to Russia' military-political leadership in the end of 2013. A resolution on the proposals will be adopted in the next few months, the source said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed about plans to create a special formation for the defense of Russia's interests in the Arctic zone at a meeting of the Board of the Russian Defense Ministry on December 10, 2013 which was attended by President Putin.
The new formation of troops and forces is planned to be created by 2015 to ensure military security and defense of Russia's national interests in the Arctic zone, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced then. On December 16, 2013 Shoigu instructed the General Headquarters to draft a plan on the improvement of the military infrastructure and deployment of the Russian Armed forces in the Arctic zone.