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Putin says Arctic must stay free from geopolitical gambling

The Russian leader says Moscow will remain committed to the peace development of the region

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would remain committed to the peaceful exploration of the Arctic on the condition its national interests are observed.

"I’m certain that the Arctic must be regarded as a space for an open and equitable dialog, based on the principles of universal and indivisible security, where there will be no place for geopolitical games by military blocs, backstage deals or struggle for spheres of influence," Putin said in a message of greeting to the participants in the international meeting of the Arctic Council’s member-states and observer countries and the international scientific community. The message was read out by the Russian Security Council’s secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, the Security Council’s press-service has told TASS.

Putin said that "Russia will remain committed to the peace development of the region, provided its own national interests are observed and the interests of all other countries unconditionally respected."

Putin believes that the stable development of the Arctic Region is acquiring special importance.

"It is crucial to the well-being of the Arctic States and other countries. The active role that the observer countries play in the Arctic Council are a bright confirmation of this," Putin said.