Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 398

Commentary International Meeting of the AC Member States in September 2015 in Archangelsk Lassi Heininen The V [Fifth] International Meeting of Representatives of the States-Members of the Arctic Council, States-Observers and Foreign Scientific Community took place on September 15-16, 2015 in Archangelsk, Russia. The meeting was specially devoted to preparedness and safety in the Arctic, sustainable development and indigenous peoples. It consisted of two parts, the demonstration of rescue exercises by the EMERCOM Arctic Emergency Centre in Arkhangelsk, and the international conference “Ensuring Safety and Sustainable Development in the Arctic Region, Preservation the Ecosystems and Traditional Way of Life of the Indigenous Peoples in the North”. The high-level meeting was organized under the auspices of the Russian Federation Security Council in cooperation with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University, NArFU in Archangelsk. NArFU invited members of small international delegations from the Arctic states and the Arctic Council observer countries, as it did last year, when this annual meeting took place in Naryan-Nar, and the Varandei Oil Terminal in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The demonstration of rescue exercises by Arkhangelsk’s EMERCOM Arctic Emergency Centre took place on a sunny afternoon on the Dvina river just beside downtown Arkhangelsk. We had front row seats to follow the exercise, since we were on board of the 2N.V.Gogol” paddle steamship in the middle of the river. The situation and accident was simple but realistic: there was a fire on board of a tanker, and a few crew members of the tanker were dropped down to the sea, when they tried to put out the fire. Following from this, the mission of the exercise was two-fold: on the one hand, to put out the fire, which was done both by a helicopter and aircraft dropping water from the tanks on the Lassi Heininen is the Editor of the Arctic Yearbook. He is Professor of Arctic Politics at the University of Lapland and Chair of the Thematic Network on Arctic Geopolitics and Security.