Russia To Create New Arctic Force
Russia will create by 2020 a group of forces to protect its political and economic interests in the Arctic, but does not plan to militarize the region, a spokesman for the Russian Security Council said on Friday. He said the council had recently posted on its website a document, “The fundamentals of Russian state policy in the Arctic up to 2020 and beyond,” which outlines the country’s strategy in the region, including the deployment of military, border and coastal guard units “to guarantee Russia’s military security in diverse military and political circumstances.”
“However, 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 official said.
The Arctic Group of Forces will be part of the Russian Federal Security Service, whose former chief and current secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, is a strong proponent of an “aggressive” state policy in the Arctic.
Another goal of the new strategy is to “optimize the system of the comprehensive monitoring of the situation in the Arctic,” including border control at checkpoints in Russia’s arctic regions, coastal waters and airspace, the spokesman said.”
According to the news service the strategy envisions increased cooperation with neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking, illegal immigration and environmental protection.