Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter, has engaged its army to protect its key oil and gas export routes in the wake of possible terror threats.
The army, in action since Monday, has been carrying out drills in the Siberian military district between Irkutsk to Buryatia, where a major pipeline connecting eastern Siberia’s new fields and Asian countries is being built.
The oil pipeline is important as it takes Russia beyond Europe and into potential markets such as China.
Other security bodies are also participating in the training sessions, which are aimed at measures to prevent terrorist attacks and handle emergency situations, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.
Similar drills are also planned in north-western Russia starting this month focusing on western export routes, especially the Nord Stream gas project, which would supply 55 billion cubic metres of gas to Germany and other EU countries by 2011.