President Putin: 'Northern dimension' is an important part of Russian-Canadian relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin is sure Canadian Governor General Adrienne Clarkson's visit to Russia will become "an important landmark" in development of Russian-Canadian cooperation, which "comes to embrace more and more spheres as it progresses." This is what he told journalists after his Tuesday talks with the governor general.

The "northern dimension" in Russian-Canadian links was one of the subjects brought up during the talks. "Cooperation in the Arctic Zone and the northernmost regions is a natural and highly necessary vector of our interaction," the president said. He stressed that each side had its own unique experience where the Arctic regions were concerned, adding, "Combining what we can do and what scientific and technological knowledge we have acquired will raise the economic payoff we get from the northern territories, solve social tasks and help preserve a unique and very vulnerable nature." According to his account, the talks had also focused on humanitarian cooperation. "We have already launched a series of joint projects in this sphere," he said, explaining that the projects in question dealt with language studies, joint museum projects and scientific developments. He also pointed out the help the Canadian Fund lent to the Hermitage.

Observing that Mrs. Clarkson had arrived accompanied by cultural workers, scientists and artistic intelligentsia, the president said he was convinced they would establish new contacts with their Russian colleagues.

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