Russia mulls creating navy base on Kuril Islands

Moscow: Russia is considering the possibility of basing units of its Pacific Fleet on Matua Island in the Kurils chain, the media reported on Friday. The Russian Geographical Society and the military were conducting a joint expedition to the Kurils chain, Xinhua news agency quoted Eastern Military District commander Colonel General Sergei Surovikin as saying. "The main goal of the expedition is to study the possibility of basing Pacific Fleet forces there," Surovikin said at a meeting with the district's senior commanders. The Matua Island hosts three airstrips dating back to World War II. Russia is making efforts to improve military infrastructure and the weaponry of units based in Russia's Far East, he said.