Environmental Policy News

Vladimir Putin Reviews Environmental Cleanup on Arctic Islands

According to the Russian Geographic Society, on 29 March 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land Archipelago to inspect the results of the environmental cleanup effort in the Russian Arctic and meet with environmentalists.

The president traveled to Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land Archipelago to review the effort to mitigate the environmental damage in the Russian Arctic that was based on instructions given during a previous trip to the island in April 2010, the report says.

Mr. Putin also met with the Russian Arctic National Park's Omega field station staff. He also visited a glacier that scientists are using to study permafrost. Scientists discussed the environmental cleanup on the six most affected islands of the archipelago, strategies for preserving biodiversity in the Arctic, and the prospects for tourism.

Embedded2Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, second left, Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi. Photo Credit: Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik.


The Kremlin calls reaffirming the Russian presence in the Arctic a top priority and claims that current estimates put the value of Arctic's mineral riches at $30 trillion.

"Natural resources, which are of paramount importance for the Russian economy, are concentrated in this region," Putin said in remarks carried by Russian news agency, Sputnik.

In 2015, Russia submitted a revised bid for vast territories in the Arctic to the United Nations, claiming 1.2 million square kilometers (over 463,000 square miles) of Artic sea shelf extending more than 350 nautical miles (about 650 kilometers) from the shore.

Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic as shrinking polar ice creates new opportunities for exploration.

Putin said Wednesday that Russia has remained open to a "broad partnership with other nations to carry out mutually beneficial projects in tapping natural resources, developing global transport corridors and also in science and environment protection."

He also underlined the need for the military and security agencies to "implement their plans to protect national interests, our defense capability and protection of our interests in the Arctic."



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