“Sanctions against Russia and the consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union have provoked trade barriers that hamper business development in the Arctic belt states,” Tero Vauraste, chairman of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC), said at a meeting of the Permanent Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (PCAPAR) on November 23, held in Helsinki from 23 to 26 November. From the State Duma, the Russian delegation was represented by a member of the Committee on Security and Counteracting Corruption Georgy Karlov.
According to Thero Vauraste, because of the sanctions between Finland and Russia, the volume of trade fell by 50%. He also noted that to solve trade and economic issues it is necessary to create a free trade zone in the Arctic with the participation of the indigenous population of the Arctic countries. Ambassador for Arctic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland Alexi Harkonen stressed that the efforts of all countries are necessary in addressing such global problems as environmental protection, development of telecommunications, use of innovative technologies, financing of education and science, exchange of scientific knowledge and experience.
During the visit, the Russian delegation got acquainted with the work of the Meteorological Institute of Finland. Cooperation in the field of meteorology is one of the platforms for the necessary conscientious work of the Arctic countries. Discussing the topics of the future conference of the KPAR, which will be held in Finland in 2018 in the city of Inari, the Russian side proposed to discuss the cooperation project within the framework of the “Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation”.
“In the current year, we were able to formulate the main directions in the interaction of the countries participating in the Arctic region: scientific, telecommunications, transport and infrastructure. I believe that the statements of the representatives of the Government of Finland once again stressed the importance of our constructive dialogue in the current difficult economic and political international situation, “said Georgi Karlov.
The MP informed the members of the KPAR about the upcoming seventh international forum “The Arctic: the Present and the Future”, which will be held in St. Petersburg on December 4-6.