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20150621
Russia's Arctic territorial claims encompass an area of roughly 1.2m sqkm

Russia has announced it is deploying new radar stations and fighter aircraft on islands in the Arctic Ocean as Russia increases its presence on the frozen continent amid a simmering territorial dispute over the energy-rich region.

Moscow announced back in 2008 that it would use the Arctic zone as a "strategic resource base" for the development of Russia in the 21st century.

Russia's territorial claims encompass an area of roughly 1.2m sqkm which Moscow hopes would secure the rights to billions of tons of oil and gas. But Denmark, Canada and the US all dispute this and also each claim huge swathes of the vast continent, which is predicted to become ice-free in the coming decades.

Russia has been steadily strengthening its Arctic military presence reviving a number of military bases that Moscow abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union so they can host troops, warships and aircraft.

Russia's Northern Fleet consists of about 3,000 ground troops trained for combat in Arctic conditions, along with 39 ships and 45 submarines - a a major plank behind Moscow's plan to expand its borders in the region.

24today.net


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