SALEKHARD, September 25 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin, who met with the President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Gr·msson, in Salekhard on Wednesday, has confirmed that Russia intends to continue joint projects with Iceland in Kamchatka. The Russian president also said that he expects Moscow and St. Petersburg to open an air service to Iceland.
"I thank you for tireless participation in Russia' Arctic projects; as far as I know Iceland is going to hold a big forum devoted to Arctic problems with broad scientific and public participation," Putin declared at a meeting with his Icelandic counterpart.
"We have been developing bilateral cooperation. This year we will celebrate the 70th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries", Putin said. "Despite a rather low volume of mutual trade it has a positive dynamics," the Russian president said.
Putin confirmed Russia's intention to continue joint energy projects with Iceland in Kamchatka. " All this remains in force; all we should do is to ensure that these projects be profitable and competitive with the development of other energy resources," the Russian president said.
Putin praised cooperation between the two countries in the field of fisheries and the construction of a new telecommunications cable which might later be connected to the North American telecommunication routes.
Icelandic airline companies have started flights to Russia, and "we hope that in the near future the Russian airline companies will be offered an opportunity to perform similar flights from Moscow and St.Petesburg," Putin said.
Expanded list of participants
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to the top officials of all countries in the Arctic Region to participate in the Arctic Forum.
“We hope that the top officials of all Arctic states will join our work,” the Russian president at the International Arctic Forum The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue, which the Russian Geographical Society hosts.
Putin thanked all participants in the forum and pledged, “We will address very attentively all problems related with environment protection and ecology.”
Climate change research
President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland has stressed the importance of research into the processes unfolding in the Arctic area that bring about considerable changes in regional ecological systems.
When the sides interested in discussing the issues are trying to figure out the possible consequences of thinning Arctic ice cover and shrinking glaciers for the populations of fish and marine plans, they should open up new opportunities for a lasting and durable collaboration in science, Grimsson said at the Arctic: A Territory of Dialogue international Arctic forum held here by the Russian Geographic Society.
As an instance of this, he pointed out the data testifying to changes in the catch of Atlantic mackerel and said is should show how the warming of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans may change the migration models as a result of which new species of fish will appear in the waters of the regional countries, while the traditional species will shift their habitats to other places in a search for lower temperatures.
That is why science and research should become guidelines for everyone.
Also, he called attention to the huge reserves of the so-called pure energy resources in the Arctic, including the geothermal ones.