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Putin: Arctic nature extremely vulnerable, environmental risks should be minimized

Russian President believes that economic activities in the Arctic should be adjusted to specific features of such territories

NOVO-OGARYOVO, December 5. /TASS/. Nature of the Arctic zone is extremely vulnerable, so any economic activity in the northern areas should be so organized that environmental risks are minimized there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with volunteers held as a video conference on Saturday.

A participant in the video conference, who lives the northern Arkhangelsk Region, told about a program to save and rehabilitate wildlife, which populations suffer from climate change and industrial facilities among other impacts. Commenting on her speech, the president recalled that Russian is a northern country, as over 70% of its territory lies in northern latitudes.

According to Putin, "everything that happens in the North is of particular interest and of particular value."

"Here is our future, including from the point of view of extraction of the mineral resources, which our country will need in the long run. [Mikhail] Lomonosov [the outstanding Russian scholar of the 18th century - TASS] once said that Russia’s power would grow with Siberia," the president recalled.

"In the next decade, Russia’s power will be definitely growing with the Arctic and northern regions. At the same time, the nature of the Arctic is extremely, highly vulnerable," he emphasized.

Putin believes that economic activities in the Arctic should be adjusted to specific features of such territories.

"They must adjust in such a way that environmental risks are minimized," he explained.

Putin pointed out that Russia is a member of the Arctic Council that promotes the environmental agenda among other issues.

"No doubt that we will be supporting this activity, including your efforts," the president said. "You were right saying that your work might not have a concrete impact on the population, but perhaps, your work will affect the attitudes of the state and of big businesses that are developing those areas, and the problem as it is."

According to the Russian leader, it could change the situation for the better.

Putin mentioned that "there very, too many problems, related to the environment, climate change and economic activity" in the Arctic.

"We, alongside you, will be focusing our attention on that and we will be fighting together so that we can hand down to the next generations exactly the same Arctic as we received it from our ancestors," he promised. "It is a vitally important thing.".