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No new pollutants in Arctic, clean-up underway — Russian minister

October 29, 2014, 17:29 UTC+3 NOVO-OGARYOVO

Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will carry out clean-up work in the Arctic together with the Ministry of Defense

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© ITAR-TASS/Press Service of Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences

NOVO-OGARYOVO, October 29. /TASS/. Statements about a growing burden of pollutants in the Arctic do not reflect the actual situation, Russia’s minister of natural resources and environment said on Wednesday.

“There are no new pollutants,” Sergey Donskoy said at President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with government members. “I have met the defence minister and we have discussed a programme to expand clean-up operations in the Arctic not only at the sites where the Natural Resources Ministry works together with counterparts but also on other islands where there is litter. We will carry out clean-up work together with the Ministry of Defense.”

The president asked about the current state of clean-up activities in the Arctic region.

“Work is underway,” Donskoy said. “This year, we continue clearing islands of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. We have finished with the island Alexandra Land, and will continue with Graham Bell Island. Several thousand tonnes of litter have been removed from there this year.”

The Natural Resources Ministry and the Defence Ministry agreed to continue work on Wrangel Island, Donskoy added.

“Franz Josef [Land] should be cleaned properly,” said President Putin.

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