Russian minister urges better environmental protection in Arctic

Russia should develop environmental protection infrastructure in its segment of the Arctic, including oil spill response centers, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

Russia will gradually expand its presence in the region as retreating Arctic ice extends the period when the Northern Sea Route remains ice-free, he said.

“There [in the Arctic] we will need navigation safety projects and bases to deal with all kinds of tasks: from fuelling and navigation to communication systems and rescue. We must also set up centers to deal with – God forbid – oil spills,” Shoigu said at a news conference ahead of an international forum to discuss problems of the Arctic.

The second international forum, The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue, will be held in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk on September 22-24. This year, the forum will focus on transport issues, key to the development of the Arctic region.

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