Russia has reopened a Soviet-era military base in the Arctic, part of a drive to make the northern coast a global shipping route and secure the region’s vast energy resources, according to a story by Reuters news service.
The base had been abandoned 20 years ago, but Russia recently sent 10 warships behind four nuclear-powered ice breakers to the base on the Novosibirsk Islands, the news service reported.
The Northern Sea Route connects Europe to Asia across Russian waters from the Kara Gate to the Bering Strait.
“Our troops left there in 1993, and yet it is a very important location in the Arctic Ocean, a new stage in the development of the Northern Sea Route,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of Russian defence officials on Sept. 16. “We will not only reopen the military base but restore the airfield to working order and make it possible for the emergency services, hydrologists and climate specialists to work together to ensure the security and effective work of the Northern Sea Route.”