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Russian president talks up Arctic interest

Vladimir Putin insists Russia's Arctic activities are 'local' in nature

30.03.2017
Russian president talks up Arctic interest

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the importance of the Arctic region had increased "manifold".

Speaking in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk, Putin said Moscow’s military activities in the Arctic did not pose a threat to global security.

"What we do [in the Arctic] is of a local nature; what the U.S. does in Alaska is of a global nature," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS.

Putin also said the U.S. had developed an anti-missile defense system which had created what he described as one of the most serious security problems in the world.

"It is not just a defense system, it is a part of nuclear potential that is imposed on the periphery," he added.

Putin said he would be ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at an Arctic Summit in Finland in September. 

Russia ‘not threatening security’

During a visit to the Arctic islands of Alexandra Land on Wednesday, Putin said the zone was one of Russia's biggest sources of raw materials.

"It has practically untouched reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals of global significance. These resources are important not only for Russia but for the entire world," he added. 

Russia plans to invest between $400 billion and $600 billion for the development of energy resources in the North Pole over the next 20 years, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday.

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