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NORTHERN SEA ROUTE ASSOCIATION

NSRA
АСМП

Association of partners
on coordination and usage of

NORTHERN SEA ROUTE

Nikolai Korchunov,
Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Artur Chilingarov,
Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic
ON RUSSIA’S APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE ARCTIC


International cooperation in the Arctic is a heterogeneous and diverse process. Interaction is primarily conducted through multilateral platforms such as the Arctic Council (AC), Barents EuroArctic Council, and five coastal Arctic countries (the Arctic Five – Denmark, Canada, Norway, Russia and the U.S.), as well as through implementing pan-Arctic agreements (Agreement on the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean of 2018, Agreement to Strengthen International Arctic Research Cooperation of 2017, Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic of 2013, and Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic of 2011).
The key principles of Arctic cooperation have been formulated in the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration: commitment to international law, responsible management of the Arctic Ocean resources, orderly settlement of any possible overlapping claims including those in the context of the extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Arctic Ocean. The Ilulissat Declaration provisions confirmed by the Arctic Five at the Anniversary events in May 2018 remain relevant today and are an important benchmark for developing responses to current challenges.

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N. Korchunov

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A. Chilingarov 

In addition, an important part of cooperation occurs the level of bilateral cooperation both between the Arctic Council Member States (consultations on a permanent basis on regional issues) and with extraregional states, the interests and activity of which in northern latitudes are constantly increasing, and they literally knock on the Arctic door.
Involvement of non-Arctic countries
in solving current issues of the Arctic and multilateral efforts aimed at ensuring sustainable development of the region is a normal occurrence. However, the main responsibility for the Arctic affairs lies with the eight Arctic Council Member States.
Russia was and remains open for constructive cooperation in different formats with all interested non-Arctic actors.
Nevertheless, it is important for us that their engagement in the Arctic activities occurs harmoniously neither leading to the establishment of dividing lines nor, moreover, bringing elements of military standoff and confrontation to the region. We can observe different approaches of nonArctic states to operating in the Arctic region. For example, in 2018, China, Republic of Korea and Japan adopted their national strategies, which stated their commitment to operating within the framework of Arctic cooperation mechanisms on the principles of sustainable development, collective mechanisms for building up cooperation and searching for responses to emerging challenges in the region. This approach is naturally welcomed. However, there is another example that is the promulgation by the UK of its military Arctic strategy in 2018 aggravating the political and military situation in high latitudes and leading to the militarization of the Arctic. This is a very disturbing pattern, since we do not see any problems in the Arctic, which would require a military solution.
From the political and military point of view, it is important to prevent the militarization of the Arctic. Previously, an annual dialogue through the military leadership of Arctic states served for this task. It is expedient to restore such meetings. We are convinced that there are all international legal instruments to preserve the Arctic as the territory of successful development of multilateral cooperation and low political and military tensions.

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The key factors, a kind of accelerators transforming the Arctic and, therefore, actualizing the development of international cooperation in the region, are climate change resulting, on the one hand, in serious challenges and, on the other hand, new opportunities; technology development improving the prospects for economic activity; growing global demand for minerals and marine products, which, in turn, becomes the main driver of infrastructure development and growth of investment in the region.
Based on expert estimates, it is Arctic and Far Eastern seas shelves, where oil and gas production will be transferred in the 2040s– 2050s due to the efforts of Arctic states; while in the second half of the 21st century, the extent of production in the Arctic will be comparable to that in the Persian Gulf.
Rapid changes occurring in the Arctic made investors to draw attention on the regional potential. Average economic growth rate there is one of the world’s highest. Significant funds are and will be invested in the Arctic region. Thus, the American company Guggenheim Partners estimates that over US$1 trillion in infrastructure will be needed, while the total amount of investment in projects has already reached over US$ 600 million. The gross domestic product in the Arctic region can reportedly exceed US$ 500 million.
A significant part of them will be overall investment in Russian economy, which may exceed 5.5 trillion rubles by 2025. The current investment programs will give nearly 13.5 trillion rubles until 2050, 12.6 trillion rubles of which are provided from extra-budgetary sources. At the same time, it should be noted the total investment in the development of deposits has in recent years decreased due to a decline in world prices for raw hydrocarbons.
Our country has the largest economic agenda in the region. Currently, nearly 10 percent of GDP and 20 percent of Russian export are covered by the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The Arctic contribution to socio-economic development the Russian Federation will increase.

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Russia has distinct priorities in the Arctic region formulated in such strategic planning documents as the Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic until 2020 and Beyond (2008) and the Strategy of Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and National Security until 2020 ( 2013) approved by the Russian Federation President. Among them are the use of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation resource base; maintenance of peace and cooperation; preservation of unique Arctic ecological systems; development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Our country is ready to cooperate both with Arctic countries and other interested states in all these areas.
Charge of the Ministry for Development of Russian Far East having competence in the Far Eastern region development and the issues of the Russian Arctic development will harmoniously strengthen the ties and cooperation between the European continent and the Far East.
Over two years separates us from the beginning of Russia’s Chairmanship in the Arctic Council, which is a key organization for international cooperation in high latitudes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in cooperation with other agencies began the preparation of its program based on the proposals of Russian, Arctic regions and public organizations. It seems important to us to ensure the Arctic Council carry out a balanced sustainable policy with emphasis to its economic and social dimensions, continuity of the overall Arctic agenda, as well as to fix priorities and objectives consistent with the goals of Russian nation-wide projects in the program.
The work carried out within the framework of the Arctic Council financial mechanism, i.e. the AC Project Support Instrument. The ongoing and planned projects under this mechanism make a real and sizable contribution to the goal common for all countries to protect the Arctic environment including the reduction of black carbon and methane emissions to the atmosphere.
It is obvious that Russia is interested in using its natural benefits, primarily, large reserves of natural gas in the interests of sustainable and responsible region development, and in the interests of energy and climate security of Europe and Asia. Moreover, the contribution of Russia will only increase. The efforts and projects in the area of green energy, shipping and transport in general involving a greater use of gas motor fuel are of large importance in this area. An increasing interest of regions and agencies in the marine bioeconomy and use of marine biotechnologies is observed. It is a new direction for the Arctic, but it is not new for other international formats including APEC. Iceland made this direction a priority for its Chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2019-2021.
A responsible management of marine resources is of special importance for both Russia having a 40 thousand km long coastline and other countries of the Arctic region. The promotion of the concept of sustainable development in maritime activity will contribute to ensuring sustainable economic growth of sea and coastal areas.
The role of science in studying maritime activity and ensuring its effective management increases. For example, the study of marine organisms including genetic sequence analysis is a promising area. The research of marine biological diversity helps understand how marine organisms are able to survive in extreme temperature and high pressure or grow without light. The result of such research can be used in developing new ferments and drugs. The need to study algae for using them as biofuel, as well as for bioremediation of the Arctic coast is becoming ever more relevant.
Russia supports the creation of a system of network programs of Arctic research in favor of supporting multilateral projects of scientific and technological cooperation in different areas (Arctic. Net). One of the areas of scientific cooperation calling for special attention is the problem of acidification of the Arctic Ocean waters and effect of degree of acidity on aquatic bioresources.
The operation of the unique Russian ice-resistant self-propelled platform North Pole is intended to significantly contribute to the development of Arctic research
Russia supports the efforts of scientific experts from member states of the Agreement on the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean on the study of the state of aquatic bioresources reserves and their management in the area of the Agreement action. We hope that the Conference of scientific experts from member states of the above Agreement will assist in developing team approaches to its implementation.
Stressing the importance of a responsible approach to economic cooperation, Russia stands for a closer cooperation between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council and supports the development of contacts between business representatives and strengthening of ties between the chambers of commerce and industry of the Arctic regions.
The importance of initiatives and projects of Arctic countries to develop innovation and smart economy increases. The project of the Murmansk Arctic State University (MASU) and RAS Kola Science Center (KSC) intending to create an interactive electronic base of Arctic innovative developments of Russian and foreign researchers the Information and Science Center can become useful. The proposals and recommendations included in the Danish report Business Financing in the Arctic on how to improve innovation, entrepreneurship and business financing in the Arctic deserve attention (http://um.dk/en/news/NewsDisplayPage/?newsID=9D0679C4-31A2- 4E8B-9AA9-8ED5736D9999).
The entrenchment of the principle of corporate social responsibility is of great importance for the Arctic region. The practice of implementing mechanisms of ranking participants of economic activity in the Arctic in terms of their compliance with the principles of sustainable development assists in achieving the goals of sustainable development. National initiatives such as the project of introducing the Polar Index (http://ecopress. center/page2972332.html) are of great importance. Also, the initiatives of the participants of economic activity that provide undertaking voluntary environmental obligations, for example, the National Public Standard Environmental Security in the Arctic (http://aspolrf.ru/news/253/), Climate Leadership Coalition (https://www.climate-kic. org/partners/climate-leadership-coalition/), and the initiative Business and Biodiversity deserve attention and support.
On April 9-10 this year, Saint Petersburg will host the 5th International Arctic Forum The Arctic – the Territory of Dialogue, at which the issues of sustainable development in the Arctic with a careful attitude to a fragile Arctic ecosystem taking into account the interests of people living in high latitudes will gain further momentum at the highest level possible. The participation of heads of states and high representatives of the Arctic Council, scientific experts and representatives from the community and business will allow to comprehensively discuss the most relevant and topical issues of the Arctic agenda and, undoubtedly, will contribute to building up a wide international partnership in favor of sustainable and harmonious development of the entire Arctic region, and strengthening of space of peace, creativity and cooperation.

 

Forthcoming events

Ministry of natural resources and ecology of the Russian Federation Federal service for Hydrometeorology and monitoring environment SSC RF "Arctic and Antarctic research center Institute».

Long-term ice forecasts for the Arctic seas for the second half of navigation (August-October) 2020.

16-th of April, 2020 NSR association conference information and NSR council meeting under Arthur Chilingarov chairmanship on March, 14 in Naryan -Mar city, Nenets district.

Welcome to Russian and foreign NSR association partners and friends to join to the previous and updated events

Welcome to Russian and foreign NSR association partners and friends to join to the previous and updated events where we are involved in November -December, 2019.

A Conference of the Northern Sea Route Association will be held in March 2020.

We invite you to attend the Conference "Northern Sea Route - a path to development of business and an international consensus" that will be held by the Northern Sea Route Association in Moscow in March 2020.

Norway to examine the Northern Sea Route's environmental friendliness.

Congratulations

Our partners
who support future initiatives

CONTACTS

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