Thursday, March 30, 2017

Vladimir Putin visits Arctic to reaffirm Russia's claim

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited an area in the Arctic archipelago as part of Russia's efforts to reaffirm its foothold in the oil-rich region.

On a tour on the Franz Josef Land archipelago, a sprawling collection of islands where the Russian military has recently built a new runway and worked to open a permanent base, Putin emphasised on Wednesday the need to protect Russia's economic and security interests in the Arctic.

"Natural resources, which are of paramount importance for the Russian economy, are concentrated in this region," Putin said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.

Putin said current estimates put the value of the Arctic's mineral riches at $30 trillion.

Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic as shrinking polar ice creates new opportunities for exploration.

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