MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russia is aware of the United States’ unflagging attention to the Arctic zone in various respects, including military presence there, and for this reason it will not ignore this region, either, Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said, when asked for a comment about Washington’s concern over Russia’s military presence in the Arctic.
Peskov said President Vladimir Putin "believes that Russia’s military presence in the Arctic is an absolutely necessary element of building and maintaining the country’s defenses."
He stressed that Russia’s Arctic territories and its special economic zone in the Arctic were a very important region. The economic potential of the Arctic zone is growing with every passing year and the vast plans for developing this territory are being systematically implemented.
"As for the concerns of our US counterparts, I believe one should never forget that the United States itself has never given up military presence in the Arctic zone or eased its attention to the Arctic zone. We have been aware of this all along and proceeded from the assumption we should not ignore this most important region," Peskov said.
The Pentagon’s spokesman, John Kirby said the US Department of Defense kept a close watch on Russia’s activity in the Arctic, because it regarded this region as a zone of tight competition. At the same time, he remarked that "nobody is interested in seeing the Arctic become militarized."