Russia will increase its submarine task force in the area around the Northern Sea Route, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“We will, of course, be building up our [submarine] task force, ensuring the country’s security in the northern region,” he said.

New submarines are entering service with the Russian Navy, he said, adding that the Northern Sea Route is one of Russia’s priority transport lanes.

“We will be setting up a network of support bases along the entire Northern Sea Route where Emergency Ministry officers will be deployed to respond promptly and efficiently to any unexpected developments along the Northern Sea Route,” Putin said.

The Russian Federal Border Agency said in March it planned to establish a monitoring network in the Arctic, from Novaya Zemlya to Wrangel Island, to ensure effective control over the Arctic.