Putin's 2014 Goal: Station Lots of Military in Arctic

BBC terms it 'one of his most direct orders yet' regarding the region
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2013 1:33 AM CST
Putin's 2014 Goal: Station Lots of Military in Arctic
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the board of trustees in the Moscow State University in Moscow, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Metzel, Presidential Press Service)

Canada is planning to claim the North Pole as part of its territory, and Russia has something to say about that: Oh, heck no. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to boost its presence in the Arctic, and though he's discussed the idea before, the BBC calls this "one of his most direct orders yet." The Arctic has vast resources of gas and oil, and Putin says Russia must safeguard its interests there.

He gave the directive at a meeting of top military officers yesterday, and also thanked them for re-opening an abandoned Arctic airbase this summer. He promised more airbases to come, saying, "Next year, we have to complete the formation of new large units and military divisions [in the Arctic]." In addition to other airfields Russia is restoring, one Russian senator and polar explorer wants to revive a polar research institution that shut down in 1936, RT.com reports. (Read more Russia stories.)

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