“Engagement with the Russian Federation is a key feature of effective environmental response in the Arctic,” Mitchel stated on Tuesday. “The Russian Federation is an important partner with responsibility for vast regions of the Arctic.”
Despite major policy disagreements between Washington and Moscow on such issues as Syria and Ukraine, Mitchel noted is in the US national security interest for the Coast Guard to maintain open lines of communication with its Russian counterparts.
That cooperation is necessary “to ensure effective cross-border search and rescue operations, maritime law enforcement and pollution response,” Mitchel explained.
The US Coast Guard, in coordination with the State Department, has strengthened its engagements with the Russian Border Guard to coordinate fisheries law enforcement operations and search and response in the Bering Sea and North Pacific between the United States and Russia, Mitchel added.