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Russia to lock its Arctic border

August 31, 2011, 12:06 UTC+3

Russia will allocate over coming nine years for development of state borders’ facilities 134 billion roubles

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MOSCOW, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — Russia will allocate over coming nine years for development of state borders’ facilities 134 billion roubles, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told on Tuesday a meeting on development of the country’s borders. Quite unexpectedly he set a brand new task for border guards – to organise a secure border in the Arctic.

The prime minister insisted categorically the order at the Russian border is made as soon as possible, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. “Today jams and lines at the border happen often,” Putin said. “This causes economic losses and hassle, and we need to bring everything to order here as soon as possible.”

Putin highlighted the necessity to improve the border in the Arctic zone. “Special attention should be paid to organisation of modern border infrastructure in the Arctic zone, which will improve considerably our military and border security, and will improve protection of natural resources’ effectiveness,” he said.

Meanwhile, the newspaper writes, in the past not much money was spent for the country’s northern borders. There existed the opinion that the nature itself is protecting Russia in the North. However, in modern conditions, that Russia claims its rights on development of richest natural deposits on the Arctic Ocean’s continental shelf, this direction, Putin said, becomes strategically important.

Besides, the prime minister focused on the situation with development of the North Caucasus border infrastructures, where in early XXI century border guards had to live in dugouts, the RBC daily reports. Since that time, much has been done at the North Caucasus border: modern technical facilities, social facilities have been built, Putin said.

Russia’s state border is 60,000 kilometres long. It has 379 border-crossing stations, the newspaper writes. Over 100 million people and over 17 million vehicles cross Russia’s border every year.

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