* * *
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I am happy for this opportunity to get acquainted, to meet with you, and, naturally, to discuss prospects for Russian-Icelandic cooperation.
Our nations, like other states in Europe and in the world, have gone through some tough times and lived through economic difficulties. But this year is clearly better. I hope that it will end with positive changes, and this is a cause for us to step up our economic cooperation. As for humanitarian and cultural cooperation, things are going quite well already. Indeed, you visiting the Arctic Forum is yet another symbol of our cooperation on important regional issues. We are jointly responsible for the Arctic, for our planet’s climate, and for our people, so this requires regular contact. I am very happy for our meeting.
President of Iceland Olafur Grimsson (retranslated): I sincerely thank you for seeing me. And it is a great pleasure and joy to visit Russia. Our friendship has a long-spanning history, and it is up to us to strengthen our cooperation and resolve many important challenges related to our cooperation in the Arctic and on other issues.
It is very meaningful for me to have this opportunity to participate in the conference being held in Moscow on issues related to the Arctic and to strengthen cooperation between our nations with regard to interaction in the high latitudes.
As for issues of seeking out and exploiting natural resources in the Arctic and opening new sea routes, Iceland has a great interest in strengthening cooperation with Russia in these areas.
We have always had great interest in assisting Russia in exploring geothermal resources. We know that Russia has major deposits of geothermal heat and we could help exploit those resources to produce clean energy. For example, we could discuss the use of geothermal resources in Kamchatka, where there are plans to build a geothermal station that would produce energy for an aluminium plant.
The Icelandic airline Icelandair established close cooperation with Yakutia Airlines, helping organise air traffic in Yakutia. In Iceland, we are used to difficult weather conditions, and perhaps our experience could be useful in Russian conditions as well. We would be interested in concluding an agreement on this matter, which would make Iceland one of Russia’s leading partners in air traffic.
Dmitry Medvedev: Let’s discuss all of these issues.
Olafur Grimsson: With great pleasure.