Diplomats from 16 Nations Visit Murmansk Region
Representatives of the diplomatic corps of 16 Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern states took part in a fact-finding tour of Murmansk Region on 26–29 June. The diplomats were introduced to opportunities for cooperation and key Russian Arctic development projects. The event was part of the plan for Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. Chairmanship events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.
“Russia is open to dialogue with non-Arctic countries advocating for sustainable Arctic development, showing an interest in working together for our mutual benefit, refraining from military activity in high latitudes, and recognizing the importance of maintaining peace, cooperation, and low tension, be it political or military, in the region,” Ambassador at Large for Arctic Cooperation at the MFA of Russia and Senior Arctic Official of Russia to the Arctic Council Nikolay Korchunov said.
Foreign ambassadors and senior diplomats visited Russian business production sites and the settlements of Rybachy and Murmashi while also taking in the main sights of Murmansk. The trip’s business programme likewise took the diplomats to the LNG Construction Centre, the Atomflot Maritime Operating Headquarters, and the local branch of Norilsk Nickel. The fact-finding tour was organized for the diplomats with the support of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.
During the tour, Colombian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Héctor Isidro Arenas Neira drew attention to Russia’s active participation in the Arctic Council and the importance of the Arctic to global development. The Mexican representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Eduardo Villegas Mejias, expressed a positive attitude concerning the likelihood of establishing a working relationship with Murmansk Region. For his part, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Peru to the Russian Federation Juan Genaro Del Campo Rodriguez spoke of the great potential and advanced infrastructure in Murmansk Region, expressing the belief that investors from all over the world ought to be interested in the region. According to Murmansk Region Governor Andrey Chibis, the region is experiencing a tourism boom.
“You can holiday here all year round. Each season holds a certain attraction for tourists of different kinds, and the influx is stable. Last year we entertained 540,000 visitors. And that’s just tourists spending more than three days in a hotel, so the real number is higher. Tourism is an important part of our economic development, and as we invest in infrastructure, more new projects and routes pop up. Your typical tourist visiting the region is a young, active individual interested in the unique, spirited nature of the north,” Andrey Chibis said while meeting with the diplomats.
Russia chaired the Arctic Council from 2021 to 2023, handing over the chairmanship to Norway at the international organization’s 13th session in Salekhard on 11 May. In total, around 90 different events were held as part of the chairmanship and included forums, conferences, roundtables, championships, festivals, and sports competitions. Events took place in each of Russia’s nine Arctic regions and were divided into 11 thematic blocks, covering all the promising areas of development in the northern latitudes. The plan for the chairmanship of the Arctic Council was originally set to run until August 2023, so the Russian side will continue with a number of other events seeking to promote social and economic development, environmental protection in the northern latitudes, and scientific study of the Arctic.
The official accounts of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council: