International cooperation in the Arctic must go beyond geopolitics - experts

International cooperation in the Arctic must go beyond geopolitics - experts

Clean Arctic  

Such conclusions were reached by the participants of the sessions of the Think Arctic - Think Global project, which took place as part of the Eastern Economic Forum.

Experts from five countries took part in the discussion. They discussed the development of international cooperation in the Arctic and possible points of contact against the backdrop of the current geopolitical situation in the world.

Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Arctic Council Nikolai Korchunov said that Russia is interested in deepening cooperation on joint infrastructure projects in the Arctic, including in the field of energy. In his opinion, issues of the environmental and climate agenda, including the problems of permafrost degradation and biodiversity conservation, can also be included in the key areas of cooperation.

"As Asian markets develop, the role of the Arctic region, rich in strategically important resources and materials in demand for the global energy transition, is increasing. The importance of ensuring sustainable shipping in the Arctic is also growing. In this context, the development of the Northern Sea Route is becoming increasingly important," Korchunov said. 

In turn, Glenn Diesen, professor at the Department of Business, History and Social Sciences at the University of Southeast Norway, noted that earlier Oslo's policy was based on finding a balance between Russia and Western countries. He stressed that Norway, despite the current security situation on the European continent, wants to have good relations with Russia.

"The current state of relations between Russia and the West has a negative impact on the economy. We want to focus on the Arctic and move cooperation with Moscow beyond geopolitics. The Arctic is a point of contact, a point of cooperation," the expert said.

Wang Wen, Executive Dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China (RDCY), said during the session that China's goal in the Arctic region is to involve the governments of the countries of the region in joint activities, building a community for the sustainable development of the Arctic.

He noted that for China, the Arctic is gradually becoming increasingly important. At the same time, the melting of ice is becoming an increasingly important factor. According to him, his country has extensive experience in collaborative research on the influence of the Arctic on the climate of northern China.

Hide Sakaguchi, President of the Ocean Policy Research Institute under the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, called the development of hydrogen energy one of the priority areas for joint scientific work between Russia and Japan.

“We want to live in a sustainable world. That is why we need to overcome the problems that are now facing people living in the Arctic. They cannot be overcome without cooperation with Russia. That is why I came here from Japan,” he stressed.

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