Dmitry Bulgakov
© RIA Novosti

Russian Defense Ministry moves to clean Arctic military bases

The national Defense Ministry has started environmental cleaning of the military bases on islands in the Russian Arctic, Deputy Defense Minister and Army General Dmitry Bulgakov told RIA Novosti.

"Over 170 servicemen are currently removing trash from Arctic islands," he said. All trash is currently being collected on the islands of Kotelny, Wrangel and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

"Ten units are tearing down old and rundown buildings and structures, and they will eventually start reclaiming land plot," Bulgakov noted.

Scrap metal, including empty petroleum, oil and lubricant drums, is being collected for recycling on the mainland.

Over the past few years, Russia has been developing its sub-Arctic territories. This includes hydrocarbon production and the development of the Northern Sea Route which is gradually becoming a viable alternative to traditional routes between Europe and Asia.