POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 1, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 3:11 a.m. HST, Jul 1, 2011
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense minister says the military will deploy two army brigades to help protect the nation's interests in the Arctic.
Anatoly Serdyukov says his ministry is working out specifics, such as troops numbers, weapons and bases, but a brigade includes a few thousand soldiers.
Serdyukov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Friday the brigades could be based in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk or other areas.
Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway have been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, believed to hold up to a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia "remains open for dialogue" with its polar neighbors, but will "strongly and persistently" defend its interests in the region.