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Everyone except US: Experts praise joint efforts at Arctic Forum

Everyone except US: Experts praise joint efforts at Arctic Forum
The Arctic Forum highlighted collaboration between participant countries despite political differences, because Arctic development and preservation is their common goal, experts have told RT.

“Arctic is the place where they actually agree, where they have common interests,” Lars Kullerud from Arctic University said. “This is an area where everybody gains.”

Russia’s intention to ratify the Paris Agreement means that “Russia will align with the rest of the countries against US,” Kullerud said. “Among Arctic countries the conflict isn’t between Russia and other countries, but between all the countries and the United States,” Kullerud stressed.

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His words were echoed by Tero Vauraste, CEO of Arctia Group, who considers global climate change the “main reason for the good collaboration” on the Arctic. He said the “fact is that within the Arctic there aren’t many pressing international issues, but this is the climate issue, which is common for everybody.”

In August 2017, the Trump administration announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in accordance with ‘America First’ policy, saying it would help US businesses.

Photographer and founder of SeaLagacy Foundation Paul Nicklen recalled that the US city of Miami is building a $14 billion wall to deal with rising sea levels, but the US denies climate change. “It’s pretty fascinating that we’re in a state of denial,” he said. “My big fear is that we’re going to go from ignoring this problem to realizing that the problem is too big and we’re too late.”

Meanwhile, representatives of the US and Canada – two major Arctic nations – didn’t attend the Arctic Forum. “We missed one continent,” Tero Vauraste told RT, suggesting that US and Canada’s participation would put more focus on “international problems”.

The two-day International Arctic Forum kicked off in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, gathering about 350 Russian and foreign participants.

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