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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Russia's presidency of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) will focus
Russia's presidency of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) will focus on sustainable development, environmental protection and the support of indigenous peoples, the foreign minister said on Thursday.

Sergei Lavrov attended the BEAC's 11th ministerial session in Rovaniemi, Finland, on November 14-15, during which Finland handed the chair over to Russia for the next two years.

Lavrov said Russia's priority during its chairmanship-in-office will be "to ensure the region's sustainable development with a focus on social and economic factors closely related to compliance with environmental requirements, and also support for indigenous peoples."

He also said the BEAC "is designed to build a new Europe without dividing lines."

Russia's sector of the Barents Sea contains the vast Shtokman natural gas field, set to supply the Nord Stream pipeline currently being built under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

The BEAC was established in 1993 in order to "provide impetus to existing cooperation and consider new initiatives and proposals".


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