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Russian foreign minister going to Greenland for Arctic Council meeting

RIA Novosti

06:43 12/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is heading to Greenland to attend a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council.

During his stay in the capital Nuuk, Lavrov will sign an agreement on Russia's participation in creating instruments to support the Council's projects and an agreement on search and rescue in the Arctic, which will be the first legally binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council.

The Council was set up in 1996 in Ottawa, Canada, as a high level intergovernmental forum to promote cooperation and coordination among the Arctic states on common issues, in particular sustainable development and environmental protection.

Member states of the Arctic Council are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

The meeting marks the end of the two-year Danish chairmanship, with Sweden ready to take over as Arctic Council Chair for the next two-year period.

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