Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday praised a recent Russian military exercise in the Arctic region showcasing the Russian military’s ability to operate in extreme conditions.
During the exercise, three nuclear-powered submarines surfaced through the polar ice simultaneously, reported the commander-in-chief of the Russian fleet, Nikolai Yevmenov, during a videoconference with the Russian leader.
Yevmenov also said three Russian warplanes flew over the North Pole.
Putin called the exercise unprecedented.
“The Arctic expedition … has no analogues in the Soviet and the modern history of Russia,” Putin said, according to Reuters.
He also ordered continued “Arctic expeditions and research in the Far North to help ensure Russia’s security,” according to The Associated Press.
The exercises were conducted near Alexandra Land, a large island among the Franz Josef Land archipelago, where Russia recently constructed a military base, according to The Associated Press.
Russia has also invested in other bases in the region.
Countries with a stake in the polar region, including Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway, are eager to assert their jurisdiction in the area as potential shipping lanes open because of melting ice caps. The region is also rich in natural resources, including oil.
Putin has said Arctic mineral reserves could be worth up to $30 trillion, news wires reported.