US President-elect Donald Trump should look on the Arctic Ocean region as an opportunity to start cooperation with Russia on wide range of issues, former NATO Supreme Commander (SACEUR) Admiral James Stavridis said at a conference at the Stimson Center’s Army and Navy Club.

 

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“If I were advising the Trump administration and they were looking for zones of cooperation [with Russia] I would say this [Arctic Ocean] would be one,” Stavridis stated on Friday.

 

Stavridis acknowledged that the current state of tensions between Russia and relevant NATO members including the United States would make it challenging for all parties to move in a cooperative direction on Arctic policy.

 

“All nations including Russia have an interest in an environment that is open [and] there’s a fairly rich basket of cooperative activities in the North,” he said.

 

Stavridis proposed holding a summit conference of the nations with interests and territories in the Arctic Ocean to launch a wide range of scientific, environmental, economic and rescue and relief initiatives in the region.