Cooperation in the Arctic Top Priority of International Expert Council in St. Petersburg at NEVA 2015

September 13, 2015

On 24 September 2015, in the framework of the International exhibition  “NEVA 2015”, St. Petersburg, will host  The third meeting of the International expert Council on cooperation in the Arctic on the topic “Economic, Technological and Maritime cooperation in the Arctic”.

The main topics of the forthcoming meeting reflected the agenda of today’s international cooperation in the Arctic:
  • Actual and forecasts of development of the geopolitical and geo-economic situation in the world in the medium to long term, the role and place them in the Arctic region
  • Technological support of Arctic exploration and safe shipping in the Arctic
  • Financial-economic aspects of Arctic exploration
  • Legal and political-legal aspects of international shipping along the Northern sea route
  • Topical issues of international cooperation in issues of Arctic exploration

The program of the event will be attended by Russian and foreign experts. Participation in the event is already confirmed representatives of several diplomatic missions of the participating countries and observers of the Arctic Council. The meeting will be presented the first issue of the journal “Arctic Review” – the official publication of the International expert Council on cooperation in the Arctic.

Session Schedule:
  • 12:30 Registration of participants
  • 13:00 Welcome remarks
  • 13:05 Welcoming speech of Ksenofontov I.V.​( Director on public relations, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund)
  • 13:10 Speech of V.Y. Khodyrev​(Advisor to Governor of the City of Saint Petersburg, Director of the North­West Transport Union)
  • 13:20 Speech of Luis Fraga​, President of the World Stability Observatory, Spain
  • 13:30 Speech of G.P. Ledkov​, State Duma member, President of RAIPON
  • 13:40 Presentation of Mikhail Gappoev, ​Technical Officer at Maritime Safety Division, the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • 13:50 Speech of Henri Leval​, counsellor, Embassy of France in Russia
  • 14:00 Speech of V.P. Zhuravel, ​Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • 14:10 Speech of Muhin A.A.​, Director General, Center of political information
  • 14:20 Presentation of Helmut Radebold​, Primary Constructor, “Technolog Services”
  • 14:30 Presentation of Sergeeva S.L.​, Deputy Director, «Russian Center for Arctic Exploration»
  • 14:40 Speech of D.A. Medvedev​, Expert of the Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts, Moscow
  • 14:50 Speech of Kamishanov V.I., ​President, Federation of Peace and Amity
  • 15:00 Closing remarks

The importance of this event lies in the fact that the expert Council does not involve the discussion of any acute political issues: the organizers believe that the politicization of international cooperation in the Arctic, especially with reference to events in other parts of the world (particularly in Ukraine) destructive in nature. The meeting also promotes dialogue among professionals, gives you the opportunity in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss the views of the parties on cooperation in the Arctic.Today Russia is ready to deepen cooperation with other countries , in recent years significantly increased interest from China, Japan and South Korea to the North sea and their readiness for its commercial uses on the proposed RF conditions. Despite a slight decline in cargo traffic in 2014, Beijing expects that by 2020 through the NSR will move up to 15 percent of foreign trade freight traffic of the country, which equates to roughly 800 billion euros. Seoul also appreciated the economic potential of the Northern sea route, with the objective to be among the leaders in Maritime transport in the Arctic.

Speaking of the need to maintain the dialogue, it is important to remember the great experience of successful work, which has been accumulated by experts in previous years of successful cooperation dialogue in the Arctic, and today put under sanctions axe: Washington conduct joint research in the Arctic ocean by Russian-American long-term census of the Arctic (RUSALCA), which is part of a bilateral Memorandum signed in 2003 between the National Agency for the development of the oceans and atmosphere U.S. (National oceanic and atmospheric administration) and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The US and Russia are co-chairs of the working groups of the Arctic Council’s search and rescue in emergency situations, as well as environmental issues.

The historical experience of international cooperation shows that Russia has always been and remains a responsible player in the North. Her main priorities are ensuring comprehensive security of the Russian Arctic zone, including the safety of navigation, protection of oil and gas production facilities and pipelines from terrorists and other potential threats. With the aim to prevent the occurrence in the Arctic emergencies, the consequences of which pose enormous challenges to the ecology and climate of the whole planet, opened a military base on the new Siberian Islands. Also it is planned to create ten rescue center of EMERCOM of Russia, which will be provided with specialized equipment that can operate in challenging Arctic conditions not only on land but also on water, under water and in the air. Actively modernizing and developing the infrastructure of the Northern ports and the polar airfields. Training aeromobile rescue groups that will be able to cover the whole territory of the Arctic in real time in crisis situations.

In March 2015 at the Brookings institution U.S. special representative for the Arctic Robert Papp, speaking about the actions of Russia in the North, noted that the Russian Federation has every right to strengthen its military presence in the region since the Northern sea route runs along its borders and in its Arctic waters. It is therefore required infrastructure to service the ships, ports, airports and life-saving items.

The forthcoming meeting of experts continues to work on maintaining dialogue on issues of international cooperation in the Arctic.

International expert Council on cooperation in the Arctic created 23 may 2013. The Memorandum on the establishment of the Council was signed by the experts from Denmark, Norway, Russia and the USA. The initiative of creation of the expert Council belongs to Autonomous non-commercial organization “Center for strategic assessments and forecasts”. The project is implemented with financial support of the Fund for public diplomacy support them. A. M. Gorchakov.

Source:  Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts