Patrushev: Arctic, a region of peaceful cooperation in a whole lot of fields
The Arctic zone is a region where cooperation between different countries should exclude any potential for conflict, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev told Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper on May 18.
"The Arctic today is the region of peaceful cooperation in preventing and eliminating the consequences of manmade and natural disasters, fighting illegal fishing of biological resources, ensuring safe navigation across the Northern Sea Route and forming the global system of marine communications and transmission of navigation data," Patrushev said.
He added that Russia firmly believes that there is no, and there should never be any potential for conflicts in the Arctic region, as international regulations strictly outline the rights of coastal and other states.
Earlier President Vladimir Putin had commented on the US position regarding Russia's military build-up in the Arctic.
"The territory where we engage in border-protection or military activity belongs to our country. We are acting just like any other country. The United States, which is our neighbor in the Arctic, also engages in military activity which, in our opinion, harbors a certain threat to us," Vladimir Putin said at the Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk.
"Cost-effective functioning of the Arctic zone is impossible without state support. That's why the government is working to create there a fully functional transportation and energy infrastructure and communications system, tapping the potentialities of double-purpose military facilities to help civilian agencies in attaining the goals of the social and economic development of northern territories and providing rescue services," Patrushev said during the interview.