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MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. A wide range of threats and challenges to Russia's security is emerging lately in the country's Arctic zone, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the ministry's board meeting on Wednesday.
To counter the threats, the Defense Ministry should focus on developing military infrastructure in the area, Shoigu said.
Late in 2014, the Joint Strategic Command was formed on the basis of the Northern Fleet, he said, adding that the Defense Ministry would build up troops in the Chukotka peninsula to guarantee the Northern Sea Route safety.
"Military troops deployment in Chukotka will make it possible to enhance safety of the Northern Sea Route's traffic and respond timely to potential military threats in the area," the minister said. In 2014, four aerospace defense brigades within the Eastern command were reorganized to air defense divisions; as well as radiation, chemical and biological defense regiments were formed. Radiolocation and air direction centers deployed at the Wrangel Island and Schmidt Peninsula have been operational since October 2014.
In 2014, the Eastern command received cutting edge weapons, including next-generation Su-30CV and Su-35 fighter aircrafts, as well as Ka-52 combat helicopters, Bal coastal missile systems. Russia's submarines of new projects also perform drills in Arctic, he said.