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WASHINGTON, March 11. /TASS/. The United States is interested in signing an agreement strengthening international scientific cooperation in the Arctic, Robert J. Papp, US Special Representative for the Arctic, said in an exlusive interview with TASS on Wednesday.
"We need, I think, some sort of structure, some sort of binding or non-binding agreement which leads to better cooperation on things like science and climate and other things so that we have the entire picture of the Arctic," Papp said adding that such agreement was achievable.
He said this issue would be on the agenda of the US tenure as the chair of the Arctic Council, which starts in April. The council comprises Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, Finland and Sweden.
Papp said the US chair of the council will focus on the safety of Arctic navigation, responsible stewardship of its resources, improvement of economic and living conditions in the Arctic and climate change problems.
"I think probably the most important one in terms of economic and living conditions is the study of the telecommunications systems within the Arctic to see how we might be able to fuse together the telecommunications capabilities of the eight countries to provide better connectivity across the Arctic," said Papp who had earlier served as the commandant of the US Coast Guard.
He said the US was committed to promoting scientific research and cooperation in the Arctic.
"I think Russia and the United States probably understand this better than anybody else," Papp said.