Vladimir Putin spoke at the panel discussion of the international forum “Arctic – territory of dialogue”.
At the panel discussion “People and the Arctic” special attention was paid to such issues as improving quality of life of people living in the Arctic, preserving the unique ecological potential of the Arctic region, granting sustainable socioeconomic development of circumpolar territories and strengthening international cooperation.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin participated in the key event of the IV International forum “Arctic – territory of dialogue”.
Among distinguished guests of the panel discussion were President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and President of Finland Sauli Niinistö. The discussion was hosted by famous CNBC anchor Geoff Cutmore
While opening the panel discussion, Vladimir Putin mentioned that it is already the second time that the capital of the Russian North is holding the forum “Arctic – territory of dialogue”. It is symbolic that Arkhangelsk is linked with the significant events and names that opened the “frozen polar routes” to the world, underlined President.
The significance of the Arctic is increasing greatly. It is becoming the focus of the growing attention for different nations all over the world and a region that has a massive impact on the world’s climate and also a treasure trove of unique natural resources. It is a territory with colossal economic opportunities, with a huge economic potential. It is a matter of principle that we should keep it as a space for constructive dialogue, for creation and equal cooperation, said Vladimir Putin.
The International Arctic forum has a part to play in meeting this challenge. Having pulled together the resources and efforts of leading scientists, businessmen and politicians, the forum has become a platform for a serious and professional conversation about the present and future of the Arctic.
Expert opinions and initiatives have a practical input into the work of the Arctic Council as well, which for the past 20 years has been a good example of effective international cooperation.
Russia, which covers nearly one third of the Arctic area, recognizes that it bears a special responsibility for this area, underlined Vladimir Putin.
Our aim is sustainable development of the Arctic, which means building modern infrastructure, developing its resources and its industrial base, improving the quality of life of the native peoples of the Polar North, conserving their unique culture, their traditions, and with the government taking particular care in this regard.
These objectives must be considered alongside with preserving the Arctic’s biodiversity and fragile eco-systems, added Vladimir Putin. The protection of the Arctic environment as well as scientific collaboration is a priority of international cooperation in this region.
Scientific collaboration, sharing experience and exchanging programs are becoming of primary importance, considering the scope of plans on developing this territory as a part of large-scale international projects. A good example is Yamal LNG, a recent project realized by 7 countries, said Russia’s President.
Russia is open for constructive cooperation and is assisting its effective development.
As mentioned by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s large-scale Arctic economic program is designed for years ahead. It embraces more than 150 projects with investment of several trillion.
We will primarily support the initiatives having multiplicative effect on the Arctic regions and whole Russia through the mechanisms of public-private partnership, creating so called support development zones, which do not constitute only territories, but are initially a set of well-coordinated and complementary projects, and instruments of government support, said Vladimir Putin. These and many other measures will be included in the revised version of the state program for development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.
Among them is a set of up-to-date science and technology solutions efficient in the difficult conditions of the Arctic, improving the system of ecological monitoring, developing offshore fields.
Special attention is paid to the Northern Sea Route. Changing ice situation, new updated vessels make it a safe and efficient all-season round transport corridor, having an enormous potential for Russia’s and world’s economies.
In his speech President mentioned that he had instructed the government to address such issues as creating a body in charge of the integrated development of the Northern Sea Route and its adjacent support territories, including infrastructure, hydrography, security, management and other necessary services.
We would like to invite our foreign colleagues to take an active part in using all the opportunities offered by the Northern Sea Route, which will enable us to reduce the costs and delivery times of shipments between Europe and Asia, said Vladimir Putin.
Closing his speech, President Putin thanked all the participants of this forum for their constructive discussions of the issues concerning the Arctic and their passionate attitude with regards its future.
I would especially like to thank my colleagues – President of Finland and President of Iceland who have found the time in their busy schedules to make a personal appearance at today's event. A broad and authoritative international presence is a signal of the political will of the Arctic and other states of the world. We are to preserve the Arctic as a territory of peace, stability and mutually beneficial cooperation, added Vladimir Putin.