Sergey Lavrov: There is no potential for conflict in the Arctic
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Fairbanks, Alaska, that there is no potential for conflict in the Arctic, RIA Novosti reports.
"Russia has been working hard to promote the development of the Arctic as a territory of peace, stability and cooperation. There is no potential for conflict here," Lavrov said.
The Russian minister said that some of his colleagues raised the issue of security in the Arctic during a ministerial dinner the previous day.
"I would like to remind you in this connection that the chiefs of general staff of the Arctic states met annually until 2013. These meetings were very useful for building trust and mutual understanding. Regrettably, they have been suspended for over three years now, but this did not happen at Russia's initiative," he said.
The Arctic Council is an international forum of eight Arctic states that are fully or partly located in the Arctic — Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Six organizations representing Arctic indigenous peoples have status as Permanent Participants, which allows them to take decisions on a par with the eight Arctic states.
Arctic Council ministerial meetings are held every two years. The previous meeting was held in 2015 in Iqaluit, Canada. The next meeting will be held in Finland, which has assumed a two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.