VLADIVOSTOK, September 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have signed an inter-governmental memorandum on mutual understanding in cooperation in Antarctica and a joint statement on strengthening Russian-US inter-regional cooperation.
"The memorandum on cooperation in Antarctica provides a legal basis for raising our cooperation in the South Polar continent to a new level,” said Lavrov. “This is a good example of constructive cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in an area where the interests of our countries are the same."
"The memorandum provides for regular consultations between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the US Department of State on the implementation of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and implies closer coordination by our countries at international forums,” said the Russian minister. “There are plans for cooperation in research and also for exchanges of experts and information and wider cooperation in expedition activity."
"We assert our mutual interest in continuing joint inspection of third countries’ stations in order to monitor compliance with the demilitarization regime in Antarctica and with environmental requirements,” Lavrov said. “The first such inspection was in January this year, it was held on the basis of the American station. The next inspection is scheduled for the end of this year. It will be based on the Russian station Novolazarevskoye. Hopefully this will be useful. "
"The statement on regional cooperation reinforces the positive potential that has already been accumulated in this field. It sounds a clear message to our regions the governments of Russia and the United States encourage diversified mutually beneficial relations,” Lavrov said. “This is an important area of ··our cooperation."
The foreign ministers of Russia and the U.S. also adopted a declaration on cooperation in the Bering Strait. "Today we adopted an unsigned statement on the need to complete as soon as possible the work to create a natural reserve of Chukotka and Alaska,” Lavrov said. We are grateful to our American counterparts for cooperation."