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On December 4–5, 2017, Saint Petersburg hosted the VII International Forum "Arctic: Today and the Future".

Like in previous years, the Forum was organized by the IPO “Association of Polar Explores”, headed by Artur Chilingarov, Special Representative of Russia's President on International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic. Traditionally RIAC took part in the session focusing on international cooperation. This year the session discussion included not only the issues of cooperation between the Arctic states but also the outlines of the Arctic future, where the activity of extra-regional players is obviously seen, especially from East, Northeast, and South Asia. Timur Makhmutov, RIAC Deputy Director of Programs, made a speech about RIAC research on the issues of having Asian players in the Arctic region.

On December 4–5, 2017, Saint Petersburg hosted the VII International Forum "Arctic: Today and the Future".

Like in previous years, the Forum was organized by the IPO “Association of Polar Explores”, headed by Artur Chilingarov, Special Representative of Russia's President on International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic. Traditionally RIAC took part in the session focusing on international cooperation. This year the session discussion included not only the issues of cooperation between the Arctic states but also the outlines of the Arctic future, where the activity of extra-regional players is obviously seen, especially from East, Northeast, and South Asia. Timur Makhmutov, RIAC Deputy Director of Programs, made a speech about RIAC research on the issues of having Asian players in the Arctic region.

Other issues for discussion, apart form the third countries’ agenda in the Arctic, touched upon: Russia’s participation in the activities of the Arctic Council and other institutions of international partnership in the Arctic; international business projects in the Arctic region; cross-border cooperation of Russian regions within the Arctic Zone; cooperation in the field of sustainable development of the Arctic; short-term development goals for the Arctic Council.

The following speakers took part in the discussion: Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Sergey Petrovich, Deputy Director of the Second European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RF; Aleksi Härkönen, Finland's Ambassador for Arctic Affairs; Seah Seow Chen, Deputy Ambassador of Singapore to Russia; Sigurd Schmidt, Special Advisor for the Department for Arctic and North America at Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dag Halvorsen, General Consul of Norway in Saint Petersburg; Elena Tikhonova, Minister of Economic Development in Murmansk Region; Aleksander Piliasov, Director of the Economy of the North and Arctic Center of the Council for the Study of Production Forces; Gilles Breton, Chairman of the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA); and Andrei Mineev, High North Center at Nord University (Norway).

Aleksandr Ignatiev, Editor-in-Chief at “Arctic Herald” Journal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, moderated the session.

The discussion showed the changing dynamics of relations in the Arctic region: the advent and proactivity of new players, further institutionalization of the Arctic Council, and development of new forms for regional cooperation within the Arctic.

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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