Russian Airborne Forces to increase its presence in the Arctic
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Russian Airborne Forces to increase its presence in the Arctic

Russia's Airborne Forces will continue to increase its presence in the Arctic, RIA Novosti reported, citing the force commander, Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov.

"We plan to expand our infrastructure in the high latitudes," Shamanov said.

Ivanovo and Pskov Airborne Force unit personnel, acting in cooperation with the rapid deployment forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), landed on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean in April 2015. It was the first reported expedition to train for saving people from ice floes in temperatures below minus 30 Celsius.

Shamanov said these search and rescue training missions in the Arctic would be continued. The next session is planned for 2016.

"The precise date depends on the weather. It will most likely be in March or April next year," the general said.

Russia has recently started to actively develop its northern territory, where the projects include drilling for hydrocarbons and the Northern Sea Route as an alternative to traditional routes between Europe and Asia. Russia has undertaken a package of measures to protect its interests in the Arctic, including military measures, considering the growing attention to the region shown by some NATO countries.