U.S., Russian representatives jointly make Bering Strait navigation initiative at Arctic Council meeting

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Harkonen said that Greenland experienced its first bush fires last year, and the melting of the permafrost will affect buildings constructed on the presumption that the ground is frozen. These were given as examples that "warming is twice as fast in the Arctic area."

The ambassador said the ongoing change in satellite services opens prospects in the Arctic Area. "Satellite paths have mainly followed the equator and their footprint has hardly exceeded the latitude of 70 degrees north. But new light weight satellites could drastically improve the coverage," he said.

The next Senior Arctic Officials' meeting will take place in Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland area, in autumn 2018.

The initiative was made at a senior Arctic officials' meeting in Levi, a ski resort in the Finnish Arctic municipality Kittila, Harkonen told a press conference. He did not tell any details but said the initiative would be submitted to the International Maritime Organization.

Another theme focused on was connectivity in the Arctic region. Challenges remain in terms of financing the enhanced communication.

Chairman of the meeting, Harkonen cited the move as an example that the Arctic Council so far remains "outside the the impact of the worsened international situation."

HELSINKI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from the United States and Russia on Friday formulated a joint initiative on the practical navigation in the Bering Strait, said Finland's Ambassador to the Arctic Council Aleksi Harkonen.

Meteorological cooperation was a highlighted theme at the meeting. The event was preceded by a seminar held by the World Meteorological Organization and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The two-day convention held in Levi was the second Senior Arctic Officials' meeting during Finland's chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

The Arctic Council sees the future of communication in the area as a public-private joint venture where the Arctic Economic Council has a key role as well. "But connectivity cannot be left to investors alone," Harkonen said.