Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sought to ease concerns about a battle for Arctic territory by saying on Thursday that partnership agreements would settle all border disputes in the region.
"We are keeping a close eye on the development of the situation in the region...and believe that most of the scare stories about the Arctic are groundless," Putin told a news conference at the International Arctic Forum in Moscow.
He also said Russia would expand its scientific research in the Arctic.
"Russia is set to revive and expand its scientific presence in Arctic, and support fundamental research, including that being carried out by international teams of scientists and experts," Putin said.
Finally, he vowed to increase the number of Russia's national parks in the Arctic and conduct a general clear up of the territory by removing garbage dumps that have built up near Russia's military bases, ports and airfields.
Last year a new 1.5 million-hectare national park was opened on the islands of Novaya Zemlya archipelago.
MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)