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Russia’s ambassador: Arctic Economic Council may begin working from May 2015

February 01, 2014, 11:15 UTC+3 OTTAWA
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OTTAWA, February 01, 10:31 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s representative at the Arctic Council (AC) and the country’s Ambassador at Large Anton Vasilyev confirms major progress in organisation of the Arctic Economic Council. The diplomat participated in a recent meeting in Canada on organisation of the business forum.

“The Arctic countries have agreed they would work on organisation of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC),” he said. “This is exactly the title of the forum, which the working group has approved. As for other aspects, the countries have been involved in constructive work. I believe the process will be finalised during Canada’s presiding at the Council - which is before May 2015.”

“Canada’s Minister of Environment Leona Aglukka agrees the member states have achieved certain progress in implementation of the idea to organise AEC,” the ambassador said. “The Council will offer new opportunities for cooperation between members of AC. The Economic Council will favour stable economic development of the region and improvement of the Arctic Council.”

“Development of business cooperation in the Arctic is a major objective of the Arctic Council nowadays,” Vasilyev continued. “Between 2011 and 2013, Sweden chaired the Council, and that period was very successful, we have achieved a lot at the meeting in Kiruna /Sweden/ last May. As Canada took over the chairing role, we have entered a new development phase, we have reached concord between all the member states - the Arctic Council adopts decisions by a consensus - a certain progress in the Council’s general direction: it has been paying more attention to the North’s economy and to support of entrepreneurship there. We have agreed on three priorities in our cooperation - development of the North’s resources, transport routes in the Arctic and caring for people living in those regions. At the same time, the Arctic Council’s traditions spheres - the ecology and sustainable development - do remain. We are speaking only about additional activities, not about any changes to the existing directions.”

“The Arctic Council - and this is very important - has demonstrated the abilities to expand the activities, reacting to the changes in the Arctic - those in climate or military-political aspects - the “cold war” is over - or in technologies, as well as affecting changes of prices in international markets, thus making profitable the development of the Arctic resources.

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