Source Pravda.Ru

Northern Dimension meeting in Greenland to focus on developing arctic region

The third meeting of ministers from the member countries of the EU Northern Dimension initiative, due on August 28 in Ilulissat, Greenland, will focus on developing the Arctic region, said Denmark's ambassador to Russia Lars Vissing to RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

He recalled that the meeting would be attended by representatives from the EU countries, as well as from Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Iceland. The delegates will pay special attention to increasing interaction in the Arctic, to the problems of small native northern peoples, and will discuss the strategy of Northern Dimension development for 2003-2006 in the context of the EU expansion.

Deputy foreign minister Yevgeny Gusarov is expected to represent Russia at the meeting. Denmark, as the EU incumbent chairman, will be represented by minister for European affairs Bertel Haarder and prime minister of the Greenland autonomous territory Jonathan Motzfeldt.

The Northern Dimension initiative was proposed during Finland's chairmanship in the EU in the second half-year of 1999. It aims at developing interstate cooperation between the EU and other North European countries.

In the context of the EU expansion the Northern Dimension priorities will be changed, in particular it intends to pay more attention to developing cooperation with north-west regions of Russia.

Greenland, which is an autonomous part of Denmark but not an EU member, participates in the Northern Dimension activities. It was Greenland that drew attention of other members to the problems of developing the Arctic regions of the EU countries and Russia. These problems include economic development of under-populated areas with extreme climate conditions and small settlements situated far from each other.

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