Russia moves to dispel Arctic militarization concerns
Russia's military activity in the Arctic is absolutely transparent and there can be no talk about militarization in the region, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Barbin, a senior official in the Arctic Council, said before the upcoming April 24-25 ministerial meeting in Iqaluit, Canada, TASS reported. The Russian delegation will be led by Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi.
"There is absolutely no militarization in the Arctic. Our regional partners understand this very well. They see no security threat — at least, on the level of military experts," Barbin said.
Arctic opportunities should be used to benefit the entire region, he added.
"The framework plan for the prevention of oil pollution, which is due to be adopted at the meeting, has been designed to provide favorable conditions for the Arctic's development. The document prioritizes the need to avoid environmental risks involved in the commercial development of the Arctic," he said.
All disputes in the Arctic should be resolved by way of negotiation, he said.
"Russia is ready to cooperate on all issues. This particularly concerns economic interaction and increasing the region's investment appeal. All projects initiated by the Arctic Council (personnel training and tourism, among others) will be implemented, and contributions from observer states will only be welcomed," the ambassador said.