Lavrov: No need for an international agreement on Arctic management
There is no need for an international agreement on managing the Arctic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference following talks with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.
"I haven't heard of any serious attempts to lobby for an international agreement on the Arctic; this means that these attempts don't deserve our attention. <…> Today Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström and I have reaffirmed our common position that neither the Arctic, nor the Barents region, nor the Baltic Sea present problems that call for a military solution or a buildup of military presence." Lavrov said.
The minister emphasized that he doesn't see any need for an international agreement on a mandate for the Arctic either from the infrastructural and economic or security point of view.
Still, he said, Russia is ready to take part in various initiatives on boosting security in the Baltic Sea area and the Arctic.
"We also strongly believe in the need to keep up efforts aimed at ensuring security and promoting cooperation in the Baltic Sea region," he emphasized.
According to Lavrov, during the talks Russia and Sweden reiterated their support for the activities of various multilateral formats, including the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Council of the Baltic Sea States.