Russia Should Join Northern Council, Says Chairman of Senatorial Committee on Northern Affairs

Alexander Nazarov, Chairman of the Northern Affairs Committee of the Council of Federation of Russia, has written to Igor Ivanov, Russia's Foreign Minister, asking him to assist in Russia's soonest possible joining the Northern Council.

According to Mr. Nazarov's press service, the letter reads, 'The member countries of the Northern Council strive for stable economic development, the rational use of natural resources, and the preservation of the highly original northern culture'. Mr. Nazarov believes this is quite in step with Russia's priorities in the northern regions and that 'Russia wants the most possible strengthening of international cooperation by all means, including the more intensive use of the Northern Ocean shipping route'. 'Joining the Council', the committee Chairman believes, 'would bring purposive investments to the northern regions that give the country 60% of her annual income in foreign currencies and end depression in the north'.

Mr. Nazarov also believes that membership in the Northern Council would allow a more effective lobbying of Russia's interests as concerns the effectiveness and strength of her rightful connections with the Kaliningrad Region.

The Northern Council is an interparliamentary body organised by the northern European countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland in 1952. The council puts no restriction on the sphere of its interests yet, as it is, refrains from discussing military and political problems. In 1971, the Coordination Council of Ministers of the Northern Countries was created within the Northern Council.