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Putin: Arctic Ocean Military Base To Be Restored

The "Peter the Great" nuclear-powered missile cruiser at the Severomorsk naval base.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says a military base on the Novosibirsk Islands in the Arctic Ocean will restart operations soon.

Putin, speaking at a videoconference with the Russian Defense Ministry on September 16, said that the base and its airfield -- which were abandoned in 1993 -- will be reopened "to secure control over that part of the Russian Arctic."

The commander of Russia's Northern Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Ivanov, reiterated Putin's statement, adding that a military airport on the Novosibirsk Islands will resume its operations by October 1.

The Defense Ministry says a group of 10 warships and support vessels arrived at the islands on September 14.

The group was led by led by "Peter the Great," the flagship battle cruiser of the Northern Fleet, and was accompanied by four nuclear icebreakers.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax