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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a media question on the sidelines of the fourth The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue international forum in Arkhangelsk, March 30, 2017

Question: Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is open to a dialogue and joint development of the Arctic with western companies. At the same time, he tasked Russia’s Federal Security Service and Defence Ministry with protecting national interests. How will these interact? Why did he make this statement on protecting Russia’s interests at this particular time?

Sergey Lavrov: When we cooperate with someone, we do not do it on condition of surrendering our positions. We have our country, the Northern Sea Route, the Arctic continental shelf. Russia’s security is ensured by the Federal Security Service and the country’s Armed Forces, which ensure the security of the Northern Sea Route as well. President Putin mentioned our willingness to cooperate with our foreign partners in resource development and transport. When we work with someone who comes here, we are responsible for their safety. It’s logical, I think.