MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Russia will not stand by when anyone tries to test its readiness to defense its national interests in the Arctic, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
"Arctic can still be maintained as an area of cooperation rather than an area of competition," he said during a videoconference of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. "We recognize the fragility of the environment there and we have applied substantial efforts to improve international cooperation in this area."
"We will not in any way stay quiet though if someone, and I am in no mood of finger-pointing, would try to test our readiness to defend our interests interests of national security in this area."
He admitted that due to the climate change and new technologies deployed in the Arctic the situation in the area now differs dramatically from that of some time ago.
"The only way forward would be to have more dialogue, more exchanges, more joint effort to diminish the level of mistrust and try to find practical ways how to do positive things together there," Ryabkov stressed. "I think our Canadian, Danish and other colleagues are inclined to consider this approach together with the US and Russia and others involved.".