Monday, April 20, 2015

Russian diplomat calls for joint use of emerging opportunities in Arctic

Russian diplomat calls for joint use of emerging opportunities in Arctic
The opportunities that are emerging in the Arctic should be used jointly for the benefit of the whole region, Russia’s ambassador-at-large and senior official at the Arctic Council, Vladimir Barbin, said on Monday.

"All the member-states of the Arctic Council believe that the opportunities opening there need to be used collectively and for the good of the whole region," the Russian diplomat said ahead of the ministerial meeting on April 24-25 in Iqaluit, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. The Russian delegation will be led by Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy.

"The framework plan that is due to be adopted at the ministerial meeting in the sphere of preventing oil pollution should be aimed at creating favorable conditions for the development in the Arctic," Barbin said, adding that the document focuses on the need to avoid environmental risks.

Speaking on rivalry in the Arctic amid the current political environment, Barbin said that of course, everyone has an interest here. "However, all the controversial issues in the Arctic should be resolved through negotiations," he said.

Russia is ready to cooperate on all the issues, the diplomat said. In particular, this concerns the economic cooperation and raising the investment attractiveness of the region. All the projects that are being initiated by the Arctic Council, including tourism and personnel training, will be implemented and "the contribution of observer states will be only welcome," he said.

The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that consists of eight Arctic states - Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, Finland and Sweden.


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