MOSCOW, January 13 (Sputnik) – Russia will reconstruct 10 military airfields in the Arctic region by the end of 2015, bringing the total number of Russian operational airfields in the region to 14, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov told journalists Tuesday.
“We will reconstruct 10 airfields in the Arctic region this year, which will bring the number to 14 operational airfields in the Arctic,” Army Gen. Bulgakov said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it also had plans to reopen airfields and ports on the New Siberian Islands and the Franz Josef Land archipelago, as well as continental areas within the borders of the Arctic Circle.
The move aims to ensure Russia's military security in the Arctic. In December 2014, Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said that a joint air and air defense army would be deployed in the Arctic region in 2015.
The same month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia did not intend to militarize the region and was merely boosting border security.