MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Armed Forces have formed another air defense division in the Arctic as part of the Northern Fleet, the country's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.
The strengthening of the country's defensive power in the Arctic remains one of the Russian defense ministry's priorities, Shoigu said during a meeting of senior defense officials.
"We have laid a reliable foundation there for the creation of military infrastructure," Shoigu said, according to footage provided by the ministry's Zvezda broadcasting service.
Every year, the Northern Fleet, alongside the Airborne Forces, Aerospace Forces and Special Operations Forces, rehearses for the defense of important industrial facilities and the protection of Russia's economic interests in the Arctic zone, including the Northern Sea Route, Shoigu said.
Before the end of the year, the Northern Fleet will receive more than 180 units of weaponry and military equipment suitable for use under the harsh conditions of the Arctic, he added.
The Northern Fleet, responsible for the defense of the northern region of European Russia and the Arctic Ocean, has equal status with Russia's four other military districts.