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Vladimir Putin on the right.The relationship between Canada and Russia is set to strengthen with an establishment of a joint research council. The countries relationship is thought to be stiff.

"We have normal relations," said newly elected president Vladimir Putin said, adding that he would like to meet with Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, at coming G8 and G20 summits. "The volume of trade is very low. Perhaps that is part of the problem."

Putin spoke to a group of six newspaper editors invited to his residence outside Moscow. In response to questions about Canadian relations, he said he would push for a joint scientific team, and pointed to a successful Russia-Norway approach to Arctic sovereignty.

"The border of the continental shelf needs to be determined by scientists," he said. He also tried to calm concerns over Russian exploration. "You needn't suspect us of some kind of unilateral action. Yes, we have been exploring the shelf. What's wrong with that?"

The words from Putin are encouraging as Canada and Russia share boarders in the middle of the Arctic Ocean where land claims are being disputed. A joint research council could help the relationship between the two Arctic giants across the Arctic Ocean in the search for resources in the north.


The Globe and Mail