Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia welcomes Arctic cooperation with non-regional countries
Russia supports the creation of an international partnership in the Arctic with the participation of non-Arctic states.
“We see that the Arctic is opening to the world; more tourists come to the Arctic region from Asian countries, and we welcome this new trend. Russia also welcomes the creation of a broad international partnership with the participation of our respected foreign colleagues from non-Arctic states in the interests of the sustainable development of the Arctic region,” said Nikolai Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, at the conference International Cooperation for Sustainable Development in the Arctic, which took place as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Nikolai Korchunov also noted that the Arctic is becoming a global geopolitical factor. “It includes new transport routes that open due to climate change, and Russia is working hard in this direction by developing the Northern Sea Route as an international transit corridor. We are witnessing the increasing economic importance of the region, first of all, in the context of the energy transition, which, as is known, features a growing demand for strategic, crucial commodities that the Arctic has,” the diplomat said.
He added that since the dialogue with Russia has stopped, the Arctic Council member states have not proposed to create alternative formats because they know that the situation is temporary.
“By the way, none of our colleagues in the Arctic Council has called for creating alternate structures to replace the council. We have not heard about that. Because everyone understands perfectly well that the current situation is only temporary. We hope, or at least assume that sooner or later, the situation will be resolved and we will continue our cooperation,” the diplomat said.
He added that the Russian team is currently looking for opportunities to implement the instructions given by the ministers at the council’s latest ministerial meeting in Reykjavik.
According to the diplomat, Russia views the Arctic as a territory of constructive cooperation. At the same time, he said that Russia cannot help but worry about “the internationalization of military activity in the Arctic region.”
“But I believe that all countries will have the good sense to wend their way without letting the tensions escalate,” he added.