Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- President Vladimir Putin has raised the status of the Russian Northern Fleet to a full military district, with the same status as Russia’s four other military districts.

Previously Russia’s military was divided into four districts; the Western, Southern, Central and Eastern.

With the move, the Republic of Komi, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Murmansk Oblast and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug will be part of the Northern Fleet command and no longer belong to the Western Military District.

This is the first time in Russian history that a fleet has been raised to the status of a geographical military district. In 2014, the Northern Fleet became the Joint Strategic Command of the Arctic, including onshore military installations along the Northern Sea Route and no longer part of the Western Military District.

The Command is headquartered in Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula and its commander is Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Moiseyev.

Geographically, the Southern, Central and Eastern military districts remain unchanged.

President Putin has declared a deadline of October 1st for the preparation of a plan for the country’s new military-administrative division.

The increased Russian focus on the Northern Fleet is a reaction to US and UK naval carrying out exercises in May in the Barents Sea for the first time since the Cold War. The maneuvers were judged so provocative that NATO members Germany, Denmark and notably Norway declined to take part.

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