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September 28 2012

Russia 'consecrates' North Pole to reassert ownership


The service was held by Bishop Iakov on the ice alongside the nuclear icebreaker Rossiya during a polar expedition titled "Arctic-2012", organised by the country's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

The metal capsule carried the blessings of the church's leader, bearing the inscription: "With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the consecration of the North Pole marks 1150 years of Russian Statehood."

The Kremlin is keen to claim the hydrocarbon riches off its northern coast despite territorial claims from other governments, and is gradually re-militarising the area.

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