ARKHANGELSK, March 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday will take part in the 4th international forum The Arctic: territory of Dialogue that is being held in Russia’s northwestern city of Arkhangelsk.
The Russian leader is expected to speak at the forum’s plenary session and to meet with Presidents Gudni Johannesson of Iceland and Sauli Niinisto of Finalnd, the Kremlin press service said.
On Wednesday, Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spent a workday in high-latitude Arctic, on Alexandra Land, an island of Franz Josef Land archipelago, where they inspected the results of cleanup efforts to eliminate environmental damage to the Arctic and spoke with environmentalists.
According to the Kremlin press service, the president will speak at the forum’s plenary session before foreign delegations, representatives of international organization, business and expert community. "The forum’s discussions are expected to center round issues of improving living standards of people living in the Arctic region, preservation of its unique ecological potential, ensuring sustainable socio-economic development of polar territories and strengthening international cooperation for these ends," the press service said.
"The Russian president will have meetings with President of Iceland Gudni Johannesson of Iceland and President of Finland Sauli Niinisto," the Kremlin said.
According to Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the president is expected to give "a dinner in honor of the foreign guests on his behalf."
Putin’s previous meeting with his Finnish counterpart took place in July 2016 in Finland’s Naantali where he paid a working visit at Niinisto’s invitation. Before that, the two presidents met in March 2016 when Niinisto visited Russian. Apart from that, Putin and Niinisto had a number of telephone conversations in 2016.
As for the Iceland’s president, it will be Putin’s first meeting with Johannesson after he took office in the summer of 2016. Johannesson, who arrived in Arkhangelsk on Wednesday, said his country is committed to Arctic cooperation and hopes the forum will help share positive experience.
Apart from that, the Russian president is expected to take part in a videoconference on the occasion of the first-ever call of an Arctic gas tanker at the port of Sabetta in Yamal. The Arc7-class vessel will perform a test docking.
Before that, the first mass-produced gas tanker underwent trials in the Kara Sea and the Gulf of Ob. It is planned to build 15 such tankers to secure year-round exports to liquefied natural gas (about 230 shipments a year).
The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue Fourth International Forum is held in Arkhangelsk on March 29-30. The TASS news agency is the forum’s general media partner.
The forum is one of key platforms for discussing problems and prospects of the Arctic region. Its goal is to unite efforts of the international community for the efficient development of the Arctic. The participants of the forum, held since 2010, discuss improving the quality of life in the Arctic territories, developing transport system and environmental issues.
Among participants in the forum are 81 Russian and 35 companies from 28 world nations. In all, the forum has brought together about 2,000 guests.
Along with the Russia, Finnish and Icelandic president, the forum is attended by China’s Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, representatives from Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, Norway, the United States, Switzerland, Japan, and other countries.
According to documents prepared for Putin’s trip to Arkhangelsk, Russia considers the Arctic as a space for open, inclusive and equal cooperation. "Priorities are socio-economic development of Polar territories, development of science and technologies, building of an advanced information and telecommunications infrastructure," the documents say. "Currently, more than 150 projects are being implemented in the Arctic. They embrace practically all spheres of economic activity. Investments are estimated at trillions of rubles, or billions of U.S. dollars.".