Six countries have broken the ice and won Arctic Council observer status at the latest conference. Melting Arctic ice is exciting countries remote from the region, seeking access to promising hydrocarbon deposits and new logistics routes.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said there is “strong evidence” proving the Syrian government used chemical weapons in its war against the militant opposition, a position at odds with recent UN findings.
Russia is not planning to supply Syria with any weapons beyond the current contracts that are nearing completion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said refuting speculations that Moscow was going to sell S-300 air defense systems to Damascus.
Russia and the US reiterated their commitment to bringing the sides of the Syrian conflict to the negotiating table, and have announced an international conference to be called by the end of May which will serve as a follow-up to the Geneva communiqué.