MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Russia is determined to combat efforts to erode its competitive advantage in the Arctic region, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told TASS on Monday. According to him, Moscow stands for partnership policy as far as the Arctic is concerned.
"Russia wants to protect the Arctic as a region of partnership and sustainable development," he stressed. "Today, it is highly important to prevent the politicization of international cooperation in the Arctic and combat efforts aimed to spark confrontation in the region."
"We are confident it is partnership policy that may help define the future of the Arctic," the Russian diplomat noted. "At the same time, we plan to continue combating efforts to erode our competitive advantage in the Arctic region, introduce bellicose rhetoric and spread destructive activities, including NATO’s heightening military activities near Russia’s borders."
"We believe that the Arctic states have been facing common challenges caused by the global warming as well as increasing economic activities in the Arctic," Titov went on to say. "Our political activities in the Arctic are aimed, first and foremost, at assisting the Arctic states in making joint decisions on regional development and boosting practical cooperation in order to reach this goal."
According to the Russian first deputy foreign minister, these issues will be discussed during the Fourth International Arctic Forum dubbed "The Arctic - a Territory of Dialogue", scheduled to be held on March 29-30 in Russia’s northern city of Arkhangelsk, in which high-ranking foreign representatives are expected to participate.
"The forum’s participants will have to review their approaches towards the efficient use of the Arctic’s potential in order to improve the quality of life of people living in the Far North," he added.
Titov also emphasized Russia’s readiness to implement joint economic projects "on a mutually beneficial basis with our regional partners as well as other countries." According to him, in this connection, Russia is interested in beefing up the activities of the Arctic Economic Council, taking into consideration the fact that its steering committee is due to hold a meeting on February 7-8 in Russia’s city of St. Petersburg.