April 13, 2019 | From Associated Press
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday put forward an ambitious program to secure Russia’s foothold in the Arctic, including efforts to build new ports and other infrastructure facilities and expand an icebreaker fleet.
Speaking at the Arctic forum in St. Petersburg attended by leaders of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Putin said that Russia plans to dramatically increase cargo shipments across the Arctic sea route.
He said that the amount of cargo carried across the shipping lane is set to increase from 20 million metric tons last year to 80 million tons in 2025….
The Russian leader emphasized the challenges to the polar region posed by global warming, saying that Russian scientists believe that the climate is changing faster than indicated by earlier estimates.
“I wouldn’t like to see the Arctic turning into something like Crimea, and Crimea becoming a desert due to our failure to take timely measures,” he said.
Putin said that Russia has fulfilled its obligations under an international agreement aiming to limit global warming by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, noting that the U.S. has opted out of the pact.
He voiced hope that President Donald Trump will take the U.S. back into the deal, adding that without the involvement of the U.S., which accounts for a large share of global emissions, the agreement wouldn’t serve its purpose.
(Read more at AP)
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