Russia maps out Arctic military force
Russia plans to create a military force directed at defending its interests in the Arctic by 2020, the National Security Council said in a strategy document published Friday, dpa reported.
The reported posted on the council's web site outlined the government's plan to set up a special force "to guarantee Russia's military security in diverse military and political circumstances."
A spokesman for the council told news agency Ria-Novosti that Russia's strategy did not signal confrontation.
"It does not mean that we are planning to militarize the Arctic. We are focusing on the creation of an effective system of coastal security, the development of Arctic border infrastructure, and the presence of military units of an adequate strength," the spokesman said.
The race to lay claim to new shipping routes and oil and gas reserves trapped under the polar ice has intensified among northern powers as scientists find the region is quickly thawing.