Russian DM Shoigu: 'Arctic Development is a Guarantee of Russia’s Independence'

© Sputnik / Russian Defense MinistryRussia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu - Sputnik International
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that only development of the Arctic can preserve Russia's independence in future.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Speaking in the debates on the Arctic issue that were held among the girls studying in the Defense Ministry’s boarding school, the defense minister said, "Arctic development is a guarantee of Russia’s independence tomorrow."

In addition, Shoigu congratulated the school’s students on the start of the school year.

The Arctic has been in focus in recent years amid the deterioration of relations between Russia and the Western powers. Moscow has turned to the active development of its portion of the Arctic that has been largely neglected since the collapse of the USSR.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that over 160 billion rubles ($2.7billion) woud be allocated for the second and the third stages of Arctic development from the Russian budget in 2021-2025.

Russia, along with Finland, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are the members of the Arctic Council, aimed at facilitating cooperation between the aforementioned states and Arctic indigenous communities, and ensuring region's sustainable development and environmental protection.

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