An expert roundtable took place on March 2 in Moscow which examined the role of the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Artic Forum as a platform to discuss international economic cooperation in the Arctic. The meeting was the latest in a series of events being held in the run-up to the Forum, which will take place in Arkhangelsk on March 29–30.
Taking part in the roundtable were:
- Alexander Tsybulskiy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
- Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
- Denis Khramov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, NOVATEK
- Matvey Navdaev, Advisor to the Director of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Director of the Youth Forum
- Slava Khodko, Head of Project Development, the Roscongress Foundation
Topics discussed by participants in the roundtable included international cooperation in the Arctic, attracting young people to take part in Arctic-related projects, achieving transport connectivity, and implementing major investment projects in the region. All were called upon to continue the constructive dialogue on these and other current issues at the upcoming ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum.
Alexander Tsybulskiy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation: “The ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum is set to become one of the leading platforms for discussing and examining the problems and prospects of developing the Arctic region’s attractiveness to investors. Thirteen key events are planned for the Forum’s business programme. In addition, the organizers of the Forum have drawn up a rich cultural programme. We are expecting around 1,500 guests from 14 countries, which underlines the Forum’s high status internationally.”
The need for open dialogue at the international level on issues relating to the Arctic agenda was emphasized by Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: “The Forum in Archangelsk has attracted serious interest from the global community. We are expecting representatives from all of the Arctic states to attend. In addition to the heads of state of Finland and Iceland, the Vice Premier of China, and Prime Minister of Sweden, the Foreign Ministers of Norway and Denmark have also recently confirmed their attendance. It is important that international guests will not only be present at the Forum, but also speak at the event. This shows that the Forum’s business programme is relevant from the point of view of the international agenda, and also demonstrates the readiness of the global community to engage in constructive dialogue regarding the Arctic.”
During the roundtable, participants also touched upon the subject of attracting young people to take part in Arctic-related projects. Matvey Navdaev, Director of the Youth Forum: “This is the first time that an event for young people like ‘The Arctic. Made in Russia’ Forum is taking place at something as internationally significant as the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum. One hundred and eighty people will be participating in the Youth Forum, with representatives from Russia and other member states of the Arctic Council, as well as Japan, Italy, Mexico, and China. Teams formed of young scientists, geologists, energy specialists, economists, and representatives of indigenous peoples of the Far North and the international community will present proposals for practically implementing concepts for developing ‘support areas’.”
Denis Khramov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board at NOVATEK, spoke about the considerable experience amassed by the company not only in implementing manufacturing projects (in particular Yamal LNG), but also in ensuring a comfortable living environment for the indigenous peoples of the North. Discussing the importance of the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum as a platform for collaboration between government and business, Head of Project Development at the Roscongress Foundation Slava Khodko also expressed his hope that the Forum will become a key event for developing the infrastructure of Arkhangelsk and Russia’s other northern territories.