Russia to build ten airfields in the Arctic

Russia is boosting its military presence in the Arctic area.

The Russian Defense Ministry is constructing and renovating ten military airfields in the Arctic area. New military infrastructure will be located on the six islands of the region until 2020. As reported by Russian media citing sources in the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 100,000 metric tons of physical resources will be transported to remote military bases in 2016.

Russia is constructing and restoring the Severomorsk-1 Airfield on Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, Rogachevo in the Arkhangelsk region, Tiksi in Yakutia, and the Temp Airbase on Kotelny Island. Design and survey work has also started for reconstruction of the Severomorsk-3 Airfield in the Murmansk region, Naryan-Mar Airfield in the Nenets Autonomous District, Vorkuta Airfield in the Komi Republic, Alykel Airfield in the Krasnoyarsk Region and Anadyr Airfield in Chukotka.

Russia continues to strengthen its military presence in the Arctic and, at the same time, tries to make the world believe that they do not intend to make the North Pole a new area of political and military confrontation.

As Alexey Koval writes in an article for ZN.UA, the situation around the Arctic is becoming more intense. In 2001, Russia had already made a first attempt to prove its right to the shelf outside the 200-mile zone, but, at the time, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf found Russia’s arguments unconvincing.

Recently, Russia announced with pomp that, as a result of several expeditions (the last one completed in October 2014), their scientists managed to obtain new data that the Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges are a continuation of the Russian continental shelf. Russia also determined that the Podvodnikov basin, which is located between these ridges, is part of Russia’s territory. Moreover, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Gakkel Ridge was partly included in a request to the UN. Thus, Russia also makes claims on the North Pole.