The Russian parliamentary delegation, headed by the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Olga Epifanova, took part in the work of the 69th session of the Nordic Council in Helsinki.
The session of the Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries on the theme “The Northern Region is the most integrated region in the world” was opened. In their reports they talked about the main directions of the future work of the Council: the removal of cross-border barriers, including the free movement of goods, services and capital; increasing the level of social trust; solution of environmental problems; the elimination of digital barriers, the creation of digital services infrastructure.
The issues of preserving peace and security through the adoption of the UN Convention on the Ban of Nuclear Weapons were also discussed. In addition, a proposal was made for cooperation in the field of defense and security related to cyberattacks.
To overcome the border barriers, the members of the Northern Council decided to establish an ad hoc committee.
During the session much attention was paid to the international agenda. In addition to the Baltic, they outlined a discussion on the overall complex challenges: the future of the European Union; interaction between the United States and the European Union; the situation with food in the world.
The Council members noted that today there are unique conditions for not only northern cooperation, but also contradictions: some countries are members of NATO, but are not part of the EU, or are part of the EU, but are not part of NATO – and this is a problem.
Countries have agreed to carefully introduce rigid models, such as the rules of the European Union, in which Nordic cooperation should not duplicate cooperation with NATO, so that the well-being of residents remains at a high level.
During the session, a meeting of the Presidium of the Northern Council with the Russian delegation included a member of the Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Issues Vasilina Kuliyeva (LDPR), member of the Committee on Nationalities Affairs Grigory Ledkov (ER) and representatives of the Federation Council from KhMAO, Yakutia and Arkhangelsk region.
“Russia attaches great importance to all formats of multilateral cooperation that exist now in the North of Europe. First, it provides a very wide geographical coverage of a single space of cooperation – from Iceland to the Urals and from Spitsbergen to Bavaria. Secondly, in most cases, in such formats, the interaction of legislative and executive authorities is closely intertwined, “noted Olga Epifanova.
According to her, it is important to continue cooperation with the Nordic Council through profile committees, friendship groups and international venues.
At the meeting, the participants summed up the results of the inter-parliamentary cooperation in 2017 and got acquainted with the new international strategy of the Nordic Council, taking into account the new challenges related to the problems of terrorism, migration and refugees, the environment and climate change. In addition, they discussed issues related to the development of cooperation in the Arctic and the Baltic Sea region.