2015:22. ZVT. Ilya Ermakov, CBSS . GotMoS.

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Listen to the interview with Ilya Ermakov, CBSS or read the transcript below.

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– Mr Ilya Ermakov, thank you for participating at this Motorways of the Sea conference. Can you please introduce yourself?

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– Thank you very much for inviting me for this conference. I’m very much pleased to speak to the audience this morning. So, my name is Ilya Ermakov, I’m a senior advisor for the Council of the Baltic Sea States. I’ve spent exactly more than five years already doing my job for the Council and if you heard about the CBSS, this is an organization established in 1992 on the initiative of two Foreign Ministers; Germany’s Hans-Dietrich Genscher and of Denmark, Uffe Elleman-Jensen, 1992 as I already said, primary as a council of the Foreign Ministers. But we do also convene the conferences, for example in 2012 we had a meeting of the Ministers of Transport in Moscow.

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– Please give a short resume from your held presentation.

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– I’ve tried to explain what the council is about and what opportunities and possibilities for co-operation and collaboration around the Baltic Sea could be offered from our side. We are a regional, intergovernmental organization and that is why our niche as I say it is somewhat in-between the Baltic Sea parliamentary conference. We represent the intergovernmental level and we have a number of different pan-Baltic organizations, like subregional co-operations, we have HELCOM, we have VASAB doing spatial planning, maritime spatial planning, and plenty of others. So I think that our goals correspond very much with those of developing the Baltic Sea region as a model maritime region in the global context, keeping it competitive and sustainable in a long perspective. And we can only do it together, collaborating with all the principal actors and introducing new networks which we do through our expert groups and networks as mentioned.

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– Thank you. What is the most important issue to solve in the Baltic Sea perspective?

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– Well I think from our perspective, from the Council of the Baltic Sea States; it’s to overcome the imposed by the current international political situation. ‘Cause what used to be the real strengths behind the CBSS, its ability to have regular high-level meetings every second year, they used to have the so called Baltic Sea summit on the level of heads of government, and annually the meetings for foreign ministers. This is not the issue under the last three years already and I only hope that we are going to have a high-level meeting in late spring, early summer next year, during the current CBSS Poland presidency. Because if not, it will send this signal we elaborate and we accumulate from the wrecking ground, if we do not provide for a clear decision-making chain, then the quality of decisions taken by the national governments or regional organizations or wider, more comprehensive international bodies would have less value for the region and we are going to lose our turn and we do not have that luxury if we want to keep ourselves competitive in the global context.

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– Thank you. To learn from other transport modes, what do you think is the primary issue, if any, that shipping as a transport mode should look further into?

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– Well, I think first the maritime transport has to fight for its future as such, because we’ve had too many conferences and seminars inviting the financial sector, listening to the same story that “yes, guys, you are good but not attractive enough to ask for money” and that’s quite a cry in the desert probably, but this is a very essential point: to fight for its share in a general and global economy, first. And secondly, we have to define the optimal niche for the maritime transport, in between all the modes of transportation because the society as such does not have to invest twice or several times, doing the same move of goods and transport, we only need the smartest ones, the most efficient from the broader perspective. We’re shipping not only as bus...

Dec 21, 2015, 06:53 PM
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