The Arctic must remain a zone of peace

Despite the fact that the Arctic Council suspends all official meetings, the relevance and importance of its work is obvious to everyone.  Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States, while issuing a joint statement suspending participation in the Arctic Council, meanwhile expressed their support for its activities: “We have a responsibility to the peoples of the Arctic, including the indigenous peoples who contribute into the important work being done in the Council and are benefiting from it.”

Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Arctic Council Nikolai Korchunov, in an interview with Reuters, said that "the Arctic must remain a zone of peace ... and thus this unique format should not be subject to the side effect of any extra-regional events".  According to him, all events organized under the Russian chairmanship of the Arctic Council will proceed as planned, with the exception of official meetings with other high-ranking Arctic officials.  “It is very important to protect the project activities of the Arctic Council in order to be able to continue what we had started and strengthen cooperation,” Korchunov said.

The Arctic has been one of the regions where Russia and Europe have made progress in solving climate problems.  It is important for the Arctic countries to seek incentives to work together, as climate change affects everyone in this region.  Fisheries, minerals, melting glaciers, logistical routes are just a few of the common themes.  Russia controls about half of the Arctic coast, and goods and services from the region account for 20% of its gross domestic product.  Analysts say that China may also become one of the interested parties in energy projects in the Arctic sector, the question is how much investment it is willing to spend.

Meanwhile, activities regarding the development of the Arctic region in Russia do not stop.  A week later, St. Petersburg will host a seminar on the preservation and promotion of the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic.  Its program includes thematic sessions in such areas as "Digitalization of the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic", "Methodological support for teaching the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic", "Promotion of the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic: new media".  Breakout sessions “Possibilities of IT-technologies in preserving the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic” are also planned.

A month later, in April, the Northern Capital will host the International Arctic Forum "The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue".  Against the backdrop of aggravated relations with the West, the business program of the forum may be adjusted.  However, even in a truncated composition, one should count on the conclusion of new agreements with investors.

Scientific research in the Arctic will also keep going.  Russia allocates two billion rubles for permafrost monitoring systems.  Two-year grants from the Russian Science Foundation were won by Karelian scientists who will assess the impact of climate change on the state of ecosystems.


Source: AK&M Information Agency