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Coast Guards from Eight Arctic Nations Sign Cooperation Pact

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. (U.S. Coast Guard/PO2 Patrick Kelley)
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. (U.S. Coast Guard/PO2 Patrick Kelley)

BOSTON — Coast guard agencies representing eight Arctic nations have signed a cooperative agreement to foster safe, secure and environmentally-responsible maritime activity in the region.

The Arctic Coast Guard Forum agreement was signed last week and announced Monday by the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.

The forum was launched last October and since then working groups have established strategies, objectives and tactics aimed at achieving common operational goals in the region.

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft said the agreement establishes a "framework to exchange information." The nations are also finalizing a set of combined operating guidelines.

The nations have planned a live exercise next year to address the challenges of a mass rescue scenario at a time when more cruise ships play the unforgiving Arctic waters.

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