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Putin OKs maritime code calling for strong Atlantic presence

Russian President Vladimir Putin, foreground, reviews a Navy parade in Baltisk, western Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2015, during celebrations for Russian Navy Day. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new version of the country’s maritime doctrine that calls for maintaining a strong Russian presence in the Atlantic Ocean amid concerns about NATO expansion.

The doctrine, which covers naval, merchant marine and scientific maritime issues, also adds the Antarctic as a region of strategic interest for Russia.

Putin gave his approval on Sunday at a meeting with military officials and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Baltiisk, where he observed elaborate ceremonies marking Navy Day.

The new doctrine states that NATO is pursuing “unacceptable” plans to move military infrastructure to Russia’s borders.

Rogozin, a strong critic of NATO, told the meeting that the new doctrine reflects “changes in the international political situation and the objective strengthening of Russia as a great naval power.”

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