"Russia is a northern country. More than 70 percent of its territory is located in the northern latitudes. Everything that happens in the north is of particular interest to us, of particular value, and I am not just talking about the development of the Northern Sea Route," the president said during a meeting with finalists at the Volunteer of Russia competition, which is being awarded on the UN's International Volunteer Day.
Putin added that the future of Russia lies in the development of its northern regions, expressing his confidence that the government will successfully grow the region, especially in terms of expanding mineral extraction.
"Over the next decade, Russia will accrete, of course, the Arctic and northern territories. This is obvious," the president remarked.