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The new department will implement the Russian policy in the Arctic
To create such a state structure by analogy with the state commission for the Far East was proposed yesterday by the president at an expanded meeting of the Russian Security Council. It is necessary to retain influence in the region, not to lag behind, or even be ahead of our partners - after all, interest in this territory does not fade.
At a meeting of the Security Council, the head of state stressed that this region has traditionally "been and remains in the sphere of our special interests." "Practically all aspects of national security are concentrated here," he said. The reserves of fuel and energy resources of the Arctic part of Russia are over 1,6 trillion tons, and the continental shelf contains about a quarter of the offshore hydrocarbon reserves in the world.
For decades, Russia has been strengthening its positions here, and we need to strengthen them qualitatively, the president said.
But the attention of the world community to the Arctic is growing. Here, more and more often the interests of the Arctic states intersect and collide, and countries that are far from the region are not indifferent to it. It is necessary to take into account the dynamically changing situation in the world, fraught with new risks and challenges to Russia's national interests. “In these conditions, we are obliged to take additional measures in order to keep up with our partners, to maintain Russian influence in the region, and somewhere ahead of our partners,” Putin set the task.
Another problem is the international legal registration of the outer border of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. “We have successful experience in solving such problems,” the president said. In March, at a session of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, Russia declared its right to a part of the Sea of Okhotsk. The experts proved the indisputable right of our country to this site, and the plenum of the Commission issued the appropriate recommendations. "In the same way, our experts should act in bilateral and multilateral consultations with the governments of the Arctic states, to defend every section of the continental shelf of the Russian part of the Arctic, sea areas," Putin said.
By 2015, it is necessary to bring the cargo turnover of the Northern Sea Route to the level of 4 million tons, another task was put by the president. It is necessary to speed up the construction of icebreakers, complete the creation of a modern infrastructure for navigation, communications, maintenance, emergency assistance. The ship companies should have been profitable and convenient to walk under the Russian flag. And of course, it is necessary to minimize environmental risks during the construction of infrastructure, especially in the development of the shelf, and also to preserve the way of life of the indigenous peoples of the North.
The Russian Arctic zone must be safe. "Oil and gas production facilities, loading terminals, pipelines must be reliably protected from terrorists and other potential threats," the president instructed. "There can be no trifles here." It is also necessary to increase the reliability of the protection of the Arctic borders, including by strengthening the maritime component of the FSB border group. At the same time, the military infrastructure should be strengthened. "In particular, we are talking about the creation in our part of the Arctic of a unified system of basing surface ships and submarines of a new generation," Putin said.
“We will continue to invest significant funds in the Arctic, solve problems related to the socio-economic development of the Arctic regions, strengthen security. This is required by our national interests,” the head of state said.