14:21 GMT01 June 2020
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    The United States and Russia are both interested in signing of an international binding agreement on banning commercial fishing in the Arctic Ocean, Commissioner David Benton with the United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC) told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The members of the Atlantic Council are discussing are binding international agreement that would place a moratorium on commercial fishing in the Central Arctic ocean until the international community has a better scientific understanding of the ecological impact.

    "It’s certainly, I think, in Russia’s interest to get that [binding agreement]. And if they [Russia] will say yes to a binding agreement, I think the United States is willing to do that. It’s gotta be good for Russia, Canada and the United States," Benton said.

    Last July, five Arctic nations – Russia, the United States, Norway, Canada, Denmark – signed a declaration aimed at preventing unregulated commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean. The countries also stated their intent to establish a joint program of scientific research to improve understanding of the region's ecosystems.

    While the fishing is not currently occurring in that area, the declaration serves as a precautionary measure due to climate change and reduction of Arctic ice.

    The two-day conference "International Cooperation in the Arctic: New Challenges and Vectors of Development" kicked off on Wednesday in the Russian capital with expert sessions devoted to the 20th anniversary of the eight-member Arctic Council, comprising of Russia, Norway, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

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    ban, fishing, United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC), United States, Russia, Arctic
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