"I think scientific research, cooperation of all kinds, as well as on technology when it comes to the Arctic, is important no matter what the nations are," Townsend stated. "I think Russian and American scientists have worked for a long time on joint projects; the space station and things like that. It is important for us to continue the cooperation between the two nations."
Townsend emphasized that both Russia and the United States have long tradition in scientific research and in other areas the countries have acted together.
"It’s an important foundation to build on and keep going," he emphasized.
Townsend, who commented only four days after Donald Trump was sworn in as the new president of the United States, pointed out that the two countries have cooperated in the Arctic based on established rules.
"Russia and the United States and the Arctic nations have a very good tradition of cooperating on issues and following the rules,’’ Townsend stated. "We’ve all been working together as part of an international community. I think what we need to do as we look at the Arctic is try to stay as a community of nations who have interests up there in our Arctic nations. We need to work together up there the way we have been."
In October, Commissioner David Benton of the US Arctic Research Commission told Sputnik the United States and Russia can work more effectively on scientific research in the region.
Benton noted that in 2013, the United States and Russia agreed to work on a scientific research program in the Chuckchi Sea involving US and Russian research vessels, but have not yet found financial resources to carry it out.
Despite strained relations more recently, Washington and Moscow continue to cooperate in a number of areas, including on space as well as the Arctic.