MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated polar explorers on their professional holiday.
"Representatives of the current generation of polar explorers continue the work of heroic pioneers of the North. You carry out important scientific research, discover new mineral deposits, including on the Russian continental shelf, actively participate in implementing national and international programs on preserving the unique natural resources of the Arctic and the Antarctic, do a lot to increase Russian presence in these strategically important global regions," Putin said in a congratulatory telegram published on Kremlin’s official website on Saturday. "Of course, your work is very important for developing mutually beneficial cooperation and good neighborly relations in polar areas of the Earth," the Russian president added.
Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large, senior official at the Arctic Council Vladimir Barbin said on Friday that Russia continues cooperating with other countries in the region on the Arctic despite a difficult situation in the world. "The main tasks that Russian foreign policy in the Arctic is tackling are to preserve the region as a region of peace and cooperation. Despite difficult times on the international arena, we manage to maintain cooperation in the Arctic," Barbin said at a conference devoted to Polar Explorer Day.
He added that Asian countries show interest in developing the region. "We are on a competitive market, and our Asian partners, in particular China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, show great interest in developing the Arctic and implementing projects there," he said.
The diplomat stressed that Russia is also growing increasingly interested in this region. "A conference on economic development of the Arctic will take place in the framework of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 18, that will focus on different aspects of regional development," he said adding that more than 20 ministries and agencies are tasked with fulfilling tasks in the region.