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The Arctic: Hopes and Concerns
« on: March 20, 2019, 09:44:43 AM »
Recently, on March 15, Senior Arctic Officials' meeting was held in Ruka, Finland. While enjoying skiing in the beautiful Finnish landscapes, the participants managed to find time for consultations as well.

They reviewed the council's performance over the past two years which claimed to be quite successful. Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials said that they have approved results from projects that focused on education, oil pollution risks, biodiversity, marine ecosystems and Arctic climate change.

Renée Sauvé, Chair of the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group stated that despite the challenges they face, their discussions were very encouraging and showed that they ready, willing, and able to address the issue of marine litter.

Among other speakers of the meeting, the representative of Russia also made a brief statement.

Russian Presidential Adviser Anton Kobyakov commenting on the work of the Arctic Council said that the Arctic countries are working together and that cooperation is having a positive effect in the Arctic as a whole. However, he could not resist but mentioned the strengthening of the defense potential of Russia.

He also added that Russia aims to strengthen its security potential in the Arctic while observing environmental safety regulations. And of course all Russian military activities in the Russian Arctic are discreet but reasonable in scale and pose no threat to other countries in the region (usual Russian song). However at this very time an air defense military base and an airfield on the Novosibirsk Islands are being built in the Arctic region to ensure the security of the country. And there are lots of other examples of Russia’s ‘concern’ about this region (e.g. Northern Fleet patrols in its Arctic waters and significant investing in its naval capacity in the high seas and etc). I’d like to see all these to serve for the better of fragile Arctic.

In August 2007, Russia resumed for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Russia has also The Northern Fleet is arguably the most important asset of the Russian military in the Arctic. It is the most powerful of the four Russian fleets with the greatest number of icebreakers and submarines.