Arctic resources central to Russia's energy security - Medvedev

The Russian president said Wednesday that the use of Arctic resources was a key to the country's energy security.

"According to estimates by experts, the Arctic shelf may have about one-fourth of the world's shelf hydrocarbon reserves, and the use of these reserves is a guarantee of Russia's overall energy security," Dmitry Medvedev said at a Russian Security Council session.

He also said Russia's competitiveness on global markets depended on Arctic resources, stressing the need to adopt a law establishing the frontiers of Russia's Arctic zone.

The Russian leader said about 20% of Russia's GDP and 22% of national exports were produced in the Arctic.

"Our first and main task is to turn Arctic into Russia's resource base of the 21st century," Medvedev said, adding that a whole number of problems, including reliable protection of Russia's national interests in the region, need to be solved.

[Source: Novosti, Moscow, 17Sep08]

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