MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Interests of a number of states clash in the Arctic what may potentially give rise to conflicts in the region, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned on Friday.
"Protecting Russia’s national interests in the Arctic region and its active development remain a priority for the army. Today the Arctic has turned into a place where territorial, resource and military and strategic interests of a number of states clash. This may spark a growing conflict potential in this region," Shoigu told a meeting of the defense ministry’s board.
According to Shoigu, "the icebreakers of Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Germany, the United States and China are in the north polar region." He stressed that in order to respond to the current and potential threats the Northern Fleet continues implementing the Defense Ministry’s comprehensive plan for developing the force groupings and troops in the Arctic up to 2020.
This spring, the Northern Fleet received the Ilya Muromets icebreaker and the Elbrus logistic support vessel. In summer, the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the Ivan Gren large landing ship were put into service. The Academic Pashin tanker is about to complete state tests, he said.