Shamanov: Russian airborne troops to expand their Arctic presence
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Shamanov: Russian airborne troops to expand their Arctic presence

The Russian Airborne Forces will continue expanding their presence in the Arctic region, RIA Novosti reports, citing Airborne Forces Commander Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov.

"We are planning to expand our infrastructure in Arctic latitudes," General Shamanov said.

In April 2015, paratroopers of the Ivanovo and Pskov airborne assault units in cooperation with troops of the CSTO Rapid Reaction Force conducted an unprecedented mass air drop on a drifting ice floe in the Arctic Ocean. The Russian paratroopers and the CSTO service personnel successfully fulfilled their training mission to rescue people stranded on the ice floe in temperatures of below minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Similar search-and-rescue training expeditions in the Arctic will continue, the general said, adding that the next such operation is scheduled for 2016.

"The timing depends on the climate situation. It will be next year around March-April," Col. Gen. Shamanov explained.

In recent years, Russia has taken active steps to promote the economic development of its northern territories, including the extraction of hydrocarbons, and also the development of the Northern Sea Route, which is ever more becoming an alternative to traditional routes from Europe to Asia. A whole set of measures has been adopted to protect Russia's interests in the Arctic, including military measures, given increased attention to the region on the part of NATO member-states.