Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls countries with Arctic territories to action

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council that countries with territories in that zone have a special responsibility for the situation in it.

Lavrov says in an article published in the Shared Voices Magazine that the sustained development of this region and the solution of problems outside their boundaries demand the involvement of other international actors.

According to the head of the Kremlin diplomacy, a good example of joint effort is the presence of the Arctic countries and other states in the implementation of the actions foreseen in the Framework Document of the Council to reduce emissions of carbon and methane gas, wth a view to mitigating climate change.

Lavrov urged to support these forms of international cooperation, reiterated that Moscow will continue to strengthen the mutually equitable cooperation in the area, and its extension to new areas of the links between the nations.

The Russian minister described the Arctic as ‘our common home’, and underlined that the duty of the members of the Council is to preserve it for present and future generations.

Founded in 1996 and chaired since April 2015 by Washington, the Arctic Council was established in 1996 with the Declaration of Ottawa, Canada, and includes Canada, Denmark, United States, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden among its eight permanent members.

Three days ago, the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia, Sergey Donskoi, confirmed his attendance in February 9th to the formal delivery of Moscow’s request in the UN headquarters, in New York, extending its jurisdiction in the Arctic.

Last August, Russia sent to the international organization a new request to extend the boundary of its continental shelf in that area up to the crest of the underwater Lomonosov Ridge, and other continental formations.

Should this request be granted, Russia would add to its their maritime boundaries in the Arctic an area of about 1.2 million square kilometers, and extend its territorial waters more than 350 nautical miles from the coast.

According to estimations, in this area, equivalent to the size of Germany, France and Italy combined, there are reserves of about 100 billion tons of oil and natural gas, that is, between 25 and 33 percent of the volume available global scale.

In addition, according to forecasts, as a result of the melting caused by the increase in global temperatures, in the coming years this route will reduce by 23 percent the distance of travel between the Russian Far East and Tokyo or New York.

It is also estimated at tens of thousands of tons the existence of diamonds, nickel, gold and tin, for which Denmark, Norway, and most especially the United States and Canada are competing with Moscow.