Russia will increase its military presence in the Arctic by expanding the air force’s infrastructure to the north,announced Nikolaj Jevmenov, who heads their Northern Fleet.
‘Every island in the Arctic where we have bases will now be supplying the Northern Fleet with airplanes that can be used year-round, and can handle various types of aircraft, including heavy-duty aircraft and fighter planes,’ said Jevmenov.
‘We set up a system to monitor the situation both below and above sea level in the Northern Pass, and to establish complete control over the entire airspace in our part of the Arctic,’ he said, according to the Russian news agency, Interfax.
Over the past five years, Russia has significantly strengthened its military position in the north, both through regular military exercises, and by building military bases that make up communities that don’t require external help. Russia has set aside funds for 100 different military infrastructure projects in the Arctic by the end of the year.
‘Each of the Arctic bases of the Northern Fleet can function independently, and without the need for new supplies, just like a space station, and can do so for one to one and a half years,’ said Jevmenov.
Earlier this week, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that its expeditions have revealed 11 new islands,and six new Arctic streams over the past five years.
‘The Arctic is extremely important both for strengthening Russia’s position in the world, and for safeguarding the country’s financial interests. The value of natural resources in the Arctic is over $30 billion’, said President Putin during a visit to Frans
Josef’s Land earlier this year.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today