Moscow. Farid Akberov – APA. Set on restoring the once formidable Soviet military presence in the highly contested and resource-rich Arctic, the Russian military has begun building new military bases in the region, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said, APA reports quoting The Moscow Times.
"On Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt, block-modules have been unloaded for the construction of military camps. The complex is being erected in the form of a star," Colonel Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesperson for the Eastern Military District, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Russia has been talking about militarizing the Arctic for years as part of its greater strategy to explore and industrialize the pristine region, which is wealthy in oil and gas and offers a strategic trade route capable of rerouting the global trade flows.
Putin sees control of the Arctic as a matter of serious strategic concern for Moscow. Below the Arctic lies vast stockpiles of largely untapped natural resource reserves; estimates vary, but the more optimistic ones put the undiscovered reserves of oil and gas in the Arctic at 13 and 30 percent of the world's total, respectively.