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No problems between Arctic countries – RF ambassador

November 24, 2011, 18:20 UTC+3
Speaking at a round-table meeting devoted to transport problems in the Arctic region, Vasilyev said, “There are no problems that should be solved by force
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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) — Arctic countries have no problems, which should be solved by military means, ambassador at large Anatoly Vasilyev said on Thursday.

Speaking at a round-table meeting devoted to transport problems in the Arctic region, Vasilyev said, “There are no problems that should be solved by force. There is no need to create any military-political alliances. All mutual pretensions can be settled by civilised means in compliance with the norms of international law. We’ll do so.”

The ambassador commented on the recent settlement of the years-long dispute with Norway. It is related to the delimitation of zones of vital interests in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The countries went shares the disputable territory of 175,000 squares kilometres by making mutual concessions. According to State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev, “the talks were being held in different formats. The problem was never resolved and led to a dramatic escalation of confrontation short of an armed conflict between the Soviet Union and Norway.”

Vasilyev said, “Today even the notorious dispute on the shelf borders beyond the current economic zones of Arctic countries has no crucially conflict nature. A total of 95 percent of the resources is incorporated into the zones of sovereign states,” Vasilyev said. In his view, “any rumours about the war because of the shelf resources are exaggerated.”

Vasilyev said cooperation strengthened in the Arctic region. “The priority task of all Arctic strategies is that the interests of the states can be met in full only through close cooperation with others.” “Disputes are fewer and fewer in the Arctic region and we are trying to resolve them,” he added.

In particular, “the unique document”, which will propose ways to solve problems on the basis of close international cooperation, will be prepared in 2013, the Russian ambassador said.

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