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MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia welcomes the growing interest of non-regional states in the Arctic and their commitment to achieve the observer status in the Arctic Council, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy Vladimir Barbin said at the Moscow international conference dubbed ‘Cooperation in the Arctic: Challenges and Development Vectors’.
"Various countries have been expressing growing interest in the Arctic, particularly in achieving observer status on the Arctic Council," the diplomat said.
"We believe that the founding members of the Arctic Council have a special responsibility to ensure the region’s sustainable development," Barbin stated. "It is these countries that still should play a leading role in the development of international cooperation."
Barbin also said that the Arctic should remain an area of peaceful cooperation focused on achieving practical results in the interests of all of the Arctic countries’ residents. "The dialogue between the Arctic states needs to be enhanced as much as possible, while the decisions should be taken by consensus, as it has always been," the Russian diplomat said. "The Arctic is a zone of peace, stability and cooperation. Russia is determined to facilitate the formation of a positive agenda."
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization of the circumpolar states, aimed at solving the environmental issues, developing cooperation as well as providing economic, cultural and social support to the Arctic region peoples. Military security issues do not come under the sphere of activity of the Arctic Council.