Arctic region needs major cleaning, says Putin

April 29th, 2010 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Arctic region, a strategic area for Russia, is heavily polluted and needs “major cleaning”, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
Putin visited Alexandra Land, one of the islands in Russia’s far north, and found that over 40,000-60,000 tonnes of used lubricants in thousands of barrels as well as plane, car and other wreckage had been piled up in the Arctic for years.

“The reduction of military cooperation after the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in this scrap heap,” the premier said.

“Arctic hosts our naval bases as well as aviation patrol routes. There are also economic interests, natural resources. Major transport communications of the Northern Sea Route are here,” he said.

Putin also called for international cooperation to preserve the polar bear population in the Arctic, which is threatened by ecological problems.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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