Alexander Ignatiev, Head of the International Barents Secretariat new Editor in Chief of the Arctic Herald

 alexander ari 2.JPGEarlier this spring Ari Sirén, Finland, replaced Alexander Ignatiev, Russia, as the Head of the International Barents Secretariat in Kirkenes.

BarentSaga asked Alexander Ignatiev, Ambassador at Large, to share some of his personal views on the Barents Cooperation drawing from his experiences as Head of the Secretariat during its four first years of operation and previously also representing Russia in the Barents Cooperation. 

The Barents Cooperation is already approaching its 20th Anniversary in 2013. Has it fulfilled its role or are there future tasks?

-       Regardless of being considered young or old, the Barents Council is a vibrant organization. It has unique feature involving both national and regional authorities that allows for flexible reaction to upcoming needs and possibilities, and adjustment of activities accordingly. Other emerging structures, as for example the partnerships of the Northern Dimension, do not change this fact.

 In what ways is the International Barents Secretariat contributing to the Barents Cooperation?

-      The task of the IBS is to raise the efficiency of the Barents Cooperation. Having been in operation for four years, it is my opinion that the Secretariat has only begun to approach the implementation of this task. I believe that its potential allows for doing a lot more. There are real possibilities to more effectively use its position as the only body located at the crossroads of information torrents in the Barents Region, to acquire, to process, to analyze this information to the benefit of the many bodies of the Cooperation – and especially the Barents Working Groups as they are the very core of the Cooperation.

 You have now moved back to Moscow – what are you doing there?

-       I have been appointed Editor in Chief of the Arctic Herald - a new Russian quarterly published magazine with the task to mirror Arctic issues from the point of view of Russia as well as other countries. The role of the magazine is both informative and analytical. The first issue of the magazine was published in December, 2011. For me personally this is a new and very positive challenge. Let me take the opportunity to wish all readers of the BarentSaga the very best.

Barents Saga wishes Alexander Ignatiev good luck in his new job and encourages all to visit the Arctic Herald.