VTB, Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) on 12 March 2014 signed agreements on supporting initiatives of the Arctic Council by funding projects to prevent pollution in the region. The agreements contain a detailed description of the parties’ responsibilities and outline a mechanism for financing environmental protection projects in Russia using funds accumulated in the Arctic Council’s Project Support Instrument and according to its procedural rules.
The agreements were signed by VTB Senior Vice President Alexander Gogolev, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Rinat Gizatulin and NEFCO Managing Director Magnus Rystedt.
The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and attended by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi and Presidential Representative for International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic Artur Chilingarov.
“We are fully aware of the fact that preserving the Arctic ecosystem, which is rightly viewed as the world’s ‘climate kitchen,’ is a prerequisite for working in the region. It is only by bringing together the intellectual and technological capabilities of all Arctic states that we can achieve this goal,” Sergei Donskoi said in his opening remarks at the ceremony.
The minister went on to say that Russia has already made adherence to the highest environmental standards its top priority when exploring the Arctic shelf and working on offshore deposits.
“Substantial amendments were made to a number of federal laws to prevent and deal with crude oil spills, as well as to establish a system to monitor the marine environment in regions where economic activity takes place,” Mr Donskoi said.
“VTB is committed to social responsibility and pays great attention to initiatives related to environmental protection and natural resources, which are crucial for our planet and all of us. These agreements to support the Arctic Council’s projects are another major step for Russia toward enhancing international cooperation in environmental security in the Arctic,” Mr Gogolev said.
The Arctic Council is an international organisation established in 1996 upon Finland’s initiative to protect the Nordic environment. The Arctic Council includes eight arctic states: Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, the United States, Finland, and Sweden.
Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) is an international financial organisation established in 1990 by five Northern European countries: Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. NEFCO seeks to improve the Nordic environment by providing funding for environmental protection projects implemented by Central and Eastern European states, including Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.