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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

08.06.2013

Future of the Arctic in focus as more countries start playing in the region (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK)

As interest in the Arctic region, its exploration and preservation, rapidly grows, the Arctic Council is getting more hands to help out with the new Permanent Arctic Council Secretariat starting its work in northern Norway.

Eight Arctic nations, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US, make the Arctic council, but as of May 15, twelve permanent observers have joined the Council. These include countries away from the Arctic circle such as China, Italy, Japan and South Korea. With Arctic ice melting and new opportunities for commercial transportation and extraction of mineral resources, new platers are being attracted to the region. The decision on permanent observers reflects growing interest toward the Arctic among non-Arctic states.

This also means that more states accept the role of the Council in defining the future of the Arctic and recognize the principle of sovereignty of the Arctic states and the responsibility for managing affairs of that vital area, which, indeed, strengthens the significance of this international body on a global scale.

At the meeting in Kiruna the ministers signed the second legally binding pan-Arctic document in history - the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. This, further evidence of the Arctic countries’ responsibility role for the state of affairs in the region. The next is preparation of the Agreement on Marine Oil Spill Prevention. The Arctic Council also continues to discuss the problem of black carbon - this issue requires focused and comprehensive study.

Russia welcomes the results of the completed large-scale scientific projects of the Arctic Council accompanied by valuable recommendations. It's believed they will help better understand the changes taking place in the Arctic region, to forecast the vector of their development and will be in demand when our countries make relevant decisions.
One of the evident achievements of the Swedish presidency is the fruitful meeting of ecology ministers of member-states this February, the interaction between the military that started last year.

The interest in the Arctic region is growing fast. We welcome the observers, including China and Italy, whose status is subject to the criteria approved in Nuuk. Several other applications will be considered at the next session of the Council.

The priorities of the starting Canadian presidency in the Council are shared by us – development of resources of the North, the use of Arctic maritime transport route, support for those who live in the Arctic region. They are largely in line with the Strategy of Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the period till 2020.

It is important that all Arctic strategies adopted in member-states of the Council state that national interests may be fully secured only through close cooperation with partners in the region. The changes taking place in the Arctic region not only bring common challenges to us, but also open up new opportunities for cooperation.

It is hard to overestimate the importance of a rather symbolic trip of senior officials of the Arctic Council to the North Pole this April together with the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev and a well-known Russian polar explorer Artur Chilingarov and their photos taken against the background of flags of the eight member-states and the flag of the Arctic Council.

Russia will hold the third international Arctic Forum organized by the Russian Geographical Society in Salekhard on 24-25 September 2013.

We are convinced that all the issues not settled yet in the Arctic region – and their number is diminishing – will be resolved by the Arctic countries on the existing and sufficient international and legal basis and, of course, good will.
The Arctic region is becoming an example for many other, unfortunately, less peaceful regions. Russia has no doubts that the future of the Arctic region will be defined by notions like peace, sustainable development, close cooperation and strong Arctic Council.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 




LATEST EVENTS

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.


07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.


06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.


22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.


16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”


24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.


20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.


21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.


17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.


26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.



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