Patrushev: Irresponsible race over Arctic resources can cause environmental disasters
Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev called for careful use of Arctic resources in order to prevent an ecological catastrophe, Interfax reported.
"An irresponsible race for resources can cause environmental disasters and destroy the traditional way of life of the peoples of the North. The unique features of the Arctic can instantly give any negative incident the scale of a real disaster, therefore, careful treatment of the region's wealth should be the main priority for all of us," said Patrushev at the opening ceremony of the 7th International Meeting of Representatives of Arctic Council Member States, Observer States and Foreign Scientific Community, which was held on August 29-30 in Sabetta.
He reminded his audience that the hydrocarbon reserves in the region were at 90 billion barrels of oil, 47 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 44 billion barrels of gas condensate.
Patrushev said that in spite of some interstate disagreements among the Arctic countries it was necessary to unite efforts for the sake of preserving the Arctic as the mankind's unique natural and cultural heritage.
"We must continue to build an effective security architecture, which will be a guarantee against any attempts to destabilize the region. The Arctic countries speak different languages, but we have the power to make sure that the language of threats and ultimatums is never spoken in the North," said the Security Council secretary.
He also called for a comprehensive dialogue on economic issues, since many plans can be implemented only with close international cooperation because of the harsh Arctic conditions.