ST.PETERSBURG, April 9. /TASS/. Russia calls for resuming military and political dialogue of Arctic states and suggests holding talks at the level of military experts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 5th International Arctic Forum on Tuesday.
"In the interests of enhancing dialogue and mutual understanding and preventing any escalation, we call for restoring a full-fledged military and political dialogue of Arctic states," Lavrov said.
According to Lavrov, annual meetings of the Chiefs of General Staff of the Arctic Council’s member-states would become an effective mechanism of maintaining regional security. "Unfortunately, since 2014 these meetings have been suspended. For the purposes of resuming joint work we suggest as a first step to establish contact at the level of military experts of Arctic states," he said.
Russia is concerned over the attempts to militarize the Arctic, Lavrov noted. "I hope that the Arctic states’ approaches to our relations won’t be dominated by military drills similar to the recent Trident Juncture 2018, which were extremely aggressive and anti-Russian, but the spirit that we saw in the Arctic Council will prevail," Lavrov stressed.
"Some countries part of the North Atlantic Alliance seek to undermine this spirit and instead of it to impose a militarist one, but I’m convinced that our northern neighbors understand that these approaches are dangerous and counterproductive and won’t let them have the upper hand," he noted.