Russia to commission over 100 Arctic military facilities


File photo shows Russia’s Arctic infantry rifle units during a military drill in the training area of the Far East Marshal K. Rokossovsky Military Command Academy on Dec 2, 2013. [Photo/VCG]

MOSCOW – The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday it intends to commission the building of more than 100 military facilities in the Arctic by the end of 2017.

The facilities will include Russia’s northernmost airport of Nagurskoye on the island of Alexandra Land, which will be capable of receiving all types of Russian military aircraft all year round, according to an official statement released by the Defense Ministry.

The ministry is also building on the same island a large residential and administrative complex, the world’s sole capital facility built at a latitude of 80 degrees.

The statement also read that 200 pieces of equipment and nearly 1,000 construction workers will be involved in building the facilities.

Russia is one of five countries bordering the Arctic Ocean, with one fifth of its territory located north of the Arctic Circle. The region is rich in natural resources, including metals and hydrocarbons.

The Northern Sea Route, a strategic shipping passage between Asia and Europe, also runs along Russia’s Arctic coast.