Arctic Remarks by President Putin

Photo: Fortunato Gatto/

Arctic Remarks by President Putin

Today, President Putin made several remarks at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok addressing the issue of development in the Arctic.

According to President Putin, the Arctic, as a region, is of utmost importance to both Russia and the rest of the world. With as much as 18% of Russian territory being part of the Arctic, this country cannot help being deeply involved in the Arctic affairs. On the other hand, Russia’s control over immense Arctic riches entails a special responsibility, which requires “using those riches wisely”, Putin said.

The Northern Sea Route being a potent driver of development in the Arctic, Russia is interested in giving non-discriminatory access to the lane to all interested parties subject to international law -- namely, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international agreements. Russia welcomes the interest of all countries, European and Asian alike, in contributing to the development of the NSR as an international transit route.

An international container line will be launched at the NSR in the near future to connect Asian and European ports via the Russian Arctic. However, a lot remains to be done to upgrade the existing infrastructure and address the navigation safety concerns. According to the Russian President, a focus should be placed on making such a line profitable for all.

The Arctic Council, which is presently chaired by Russia, should become a key venue for discussing the Arctic matters, including that of the NSR as a transport corridor. The President expressed hope that the Council members will engage into a result-oriented dialog rather than seek confrontation with Russia and foster new political divisions in the High North.

Studying the Arctic is an important task that can be handled through international cooperation. In this light, President Putin suggested organizing an international expedition to high latitudes. In his view, to reach the North Pole, a research team could use the self-propelled ice-class platform specifically designed for these purposes, which is now under construction in St. Petersburg.
Alexander Stotskiy
3 September 2021
Arctic Today