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Russia to create conditions for indigenous peoples’ participation in Arctic Council

Russia also calls for stepping up Arctic Economic Council’s activities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said

FAIRBANKS /United States/, May 11. /TASS/. Russia will take steps in order to create conditions for the indigenous peoples’ participation in the Arctic Council’s activities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Council’s ministerial meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"I promise to take measures to create better conditions for representatives of the Russian indigenous peoples who take part in the Arctic Council’s activities," Lavrov said.

Arctic Economic Council’s activities

Russia calls for stepping up the activities of the Arctic Economic Council in order to expand mutually beneficial economic ties between the countries of the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"It is clear that the development of resource potential is crucial for cooperation," Lavrov said. "In this connection, I would like to point to the tool aimed at supporting various projects which allows to employ new technologies and implement environmental initiatives, particularly those related to industrial waste management."

"Although the Arctic is no more a terra incognita, the region still remains one of the least explored ones," the Russian top diplomat went on to say. "The intergovernmental agreement on enhancing international Arctic scientific cooperation, signed today, will give a new impetus to cooperation between our countries’ researchers."

According to the Russian foreign minister, expanding mutually beneficial economic ties is one of Moscow’s priorities. "We welcome cooperation in the telecommunications field between the Arctic Council members and propose that the activities of the Arctic Economic Council be stepped up," Lavrov added. "We call on Finland, the next chair country of the Arctic Council, to draw up specific proposals taking into consideration the views of all the Council member states."

Moscow calls on its partners "to cooperate in order to implement the Russian program on the Arctic’s economic development, as well as to protect the environment and support the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the North," the Russian top diplomat concluded.

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum set up in 1996, consists of Russia, Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Besides, the Council also comprises the organizations of the Arctic indigenous peoples, including the Arctic Athabascan Council, Aleut International Association, Gwich'in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and the Saami Council.

Representatives of the Russian Aleut and Mansi people addressed the Fairbanks meeting of the Arctic Council.