Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Arctic Council Needs Russia, to Continue Working With It

WASHINGTON, October 1  - The Arctic Council needs Russia, and is supportive of Moscow's continued engagement in its work, said Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., US Special Representative to the Arctic said during the conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
"We work with Russia now. We expect to continue to work with Russia," Papp, who will take over the Arctic Council chairmanship in 2015, said Tuesday.
US Representative to the Arctic noted that Ambassador Bolton just came back from Vladivostok where he worked on fisheries agreements.

"The commander of the Coast Guard was in San-Francisco two weeks ago for the North Pacific Coast Guard forum, in which Russia took part, and he met with his counterpart," he added.
"And in general, as a sailor, I have learned to be pretty optimistic guy. Even in the worst of storms at some points it's going to be better," Papp said, emphasizing that they will continue working with Russians. "We really need them as a part of the Arctic Council."
The opinion that the Arctic Council needs Russia's participation in its work was expressed by many senior officials and experts at the conference.
Vincent Rigby, the chair of the Senior Arctic Officials underlined that up until now there has been a high level cooperation between the Arctic Council members including Russia, and stressed that Russia's participation in an Arctic Council ministerial in Iqaluit next spring is expected.
"The cooperation between the Arctic Council states, including Russia has continued to operate at a very very high level," Rigby claimed, adding that in Dealing with his Russian counterpart up to this point he has received nothing but positive messages with respect to Moscow's commitment to making the Arctic Council work.
"We are certainly supportive of Russia's continued engagement in the Arctic Council. And we are going to try to make this work over the coming months," he stated.
"It is a plan right now to hopefully have an Arctic Council ministerial in Iqaluit that's going to be fully representative," senior Arctic official concluded.
Dr. Andrea Charron, professor at the University of Manitoba said that the future of the Arctic Council would be compromised if Russia is kicked out or leaves it.
"If for some reason Russia is kicked out, or any of the members decide to leave the Arctic Council, the continuation of the Arctic Council will definitely be up for debate," Charron stressed.
"Russia particularly, because it is such a large Arctic player on many fronts," she added.
 (Ria Novosti)

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