15:29 GMT20 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A regular meeting of representatives of the eight-nation Arctic Council will begin in Russia on Monday under the aegis of the National Security Council.

    The three-day meeting will take place aboard a ship traveling from St. Petersburg to the religiously signficant island of Valaam in the center of Lake Ladoga in Russia's northwest.

    The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum comprised of the eight Arctic nations — the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark.

    Six international organisations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status. There are currently twelve non-Arctic observer nations.

    The intergovernmental group aims to facilitate cooperation among the eight states and Arctic indigenous communities and focuses on sustainable development and the environmental protection of the region.

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