Russia Wants to Cooperate With BRICS Countries on Research on Svalbard

The Russian settlement Barentsburg by Grønfjorden on Svalbard. (Photo: Snorre Tønset/KLD)

Trust Arktikugol, the Russian state-owned company on Svalbard, will develop an international Arctic science station in cooperation with the BRICS countries – Brazil, India, China, and South Africa. That is announced by Russia's Minister of the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

In the future of Trust Arktikugol lies the development of an international Arctic science station in collaboration with BRICS partners, according to Alexei Chekunkov, Russia's Minister of the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

Chekunkov announced this on Telegram last week, reports the Russian news agency TASS.

BRICS is a cooperation forum for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. 

Many countries, such as the BRICS countries, have expressed interest in cooperating with Russia in the Arctic, said the Russian Arctic ambassador in March. Moscow itself considers it important to strengthen cooperation in the region with non-Arctic states when existing Arctic cooperation formats, such as the Arctic Council, are expected to be weakened, stated the ambassador.

Russia has a research center in the mining town of Barentsburg, which is operated by Trust Arktikugol. Apparently, this is what Minister Chekunkov believes should be developed.

Earlier this year, Russia also invited countries in Latin America and the Persian Gulf, as well as Vietnam, to research cooperation in the Russian Arctic. This is also reported by TASS.

China and India are already engaged in research activities on Svalbard through the research station in Ny-Ålesund, which is operated by the Norwegian company Kings Bay AS.

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.