23 November 2011, 17:38

Russia and Canada eye on Arctic

Russia and Canada eye on Arctic

Politicians, scientists and public figures from Russia and Canada have discussed prospects for developing the Arctic and its problems at their meeting in Krasnoyarsk. Over 180 experts took part in the forum. About 80 percent of the Krasnoyarsk region’s territory is located in the northern latitudes.

Politicians, scientists and public figures from Russia and Canada have discussed prospects for developing the Arctic and its problems at their meeting in Krasnoyarsk. Over 180 experts took part in the forum.

About 80 percent of the Krasnoyarsk region’s territory is located in the northern latitudes. The northern-most point in Eurasia, Cape Chelyushkin, is located there and the Dickson and Khatanga settlements are known as the gateways to the Arctic. The shortest path to the North Pole starts from here. Consequently, it’s no surprise that the Krasnoyarsk region was chosen as the venue to discuss the future of the Arctic.

One of the tasks of developing the Arctic is extracting its natural resources. The development of gas fields in Northern Taimyr and the Arctic will be started in the future, says a Fellow at the Institute of Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics, Alexei Kontorovich:

“Scientists have discovered gas deposits in the lowlands of Taimyr, and a high capacity gas producing facility will be created there,” Alexei Kontorovich said.

Apart from oil and gas, the Russian Arctic is rich in nickel, cobalt and gold. This is really the immensurable warehouse of Russia, says Deputy Director of the Institute of Economics, Vyacheslav Seliveorstov:

“Our country’s resources are mainly located in the north. In view of this, such questions as why are you going to the Arctic or why are you giving priority to the development of the raw material sector are senseless. There is no country that has rejected natural resources in the north,” Vyacheslav Seliveorstov said.

It’s impossible to think of the Arctic development without solving such issues as preservation of the environment, development of infrastructures and transport. Moreover, there are problems of navigation and assuring communications. However, the situation will be improved in the near future, says Deputy Regional Development Minister, Alexander Viktorov:

“At present, we are interested in solving the problem of air routes and the creation of the so-called “northern Arctic bridge”. There are communication problems too. For one, pilots fly their aircraft over the Arctic without communications for 3.5 hours. To solve this problem, Russia will launch two satellites that will guarantee communications,” Alexander Viktorov said.

According to the Canadian ambassador to Moscow, John Sloan, there are complicated problems before his country. “The challenges before the two countries are similar,” John Sloan said.

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The Russian and Canadian experts emphasized that the Arctic should be a peace zone. They will meet once again in Toronto next year. 

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