MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Russia sees the Arctic as an important region for its security, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said in an interview for Andrei Kondrashov’s new film - "Putin" - which is posted on Russian social networks.
"We are not threatening anyone, but, using our advantages, in this particular case - in the territory, we shall provide security for Russia and its people," the president said. "In this respect, the Arctic region is extremely important for Russia."
The country has the most powerful nuclear fleet, the president continued, adding the U.S. submarines carrying missiles are on combat duty by Norway’s shores. "The fly-in time to Moscow is 15 minutes," he said.
Putin mentioned that he had been to the Franz-Josef Land’s islands, only recently guides used to tell foreign tourists there that those areas "used to belong to the Soviet Union."
"This means, they were writing us off, though we have not given those territories to anyone," the president said.
Putin pointed to the Arctic’s rich natural resources. "We all remember Lomonosov saying Russia’s wealth would be growing by Siberia," he said in the interview. "Now, we can say for sure, Russia’s wealth would be growing by the Arctic, too. It seems to have everything."
At the same time, he stressed the importance of protecting the nature. "The Arctic ecology is very fragile, and it requires great care," Putin said. "The infrastructures there should be eco-friendly".