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Russian official rules out arms race in Arctic region

September 15, 2011, 22:17 UTC+3

Russia and the U.S. have reached a significant success within the format of the Arctic Council - represents Russia at the Arctic Council

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MOSCOW, September 15 (Itar-Tass) – There will be no arms race of any kind in the Arctic, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large, Anton Vassilyev who represents Russia at the Arctic Council said Thursday.

“There are no impassible problems in the Arctic and the Arctic Council is a much-needed organization that shows flexible approaches to the changes taking place in this part of the world,” Vassilyev said.

He indicated that the organization is supervising 80 or so projects.

“The countries having membership of the Council are designing a new agreement on elimination of oil spills in different water areas of the Arctic,” Vassilyev said.

“We need a permanent exchange of information and an expanded cooperation,” he said.

Vassilyev also said he does not think the presence of whatever military blocs is necessary in the Arctic region.

“The Arctic is our common home and our future,” he said.

Julie Gourley, the chief of Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State said she does not think an armed conflict is possible in the Arctic and speculations on this issue are totally groundless.

The assertions that energy resources may turn into a cause generating conflicts do not find any proofs, as the Arctic littoral countries are producing crude oil and natural gas in their national sectors by and large, not in the litigious areas.

Gourley indicated that Russia and the U.S. have reached a significant success within the format of the Arctic Council.

There will be no conflicts as the two countries are working together, she said.

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