Western Partners Put Arctic Council on Hold

Photo: Shtrik Vadim/GeoPhoto.ru

Western Partners Put Arctic Council on Hold

On 3 March 2022, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States issued a joint statement announcing their decision to pause cooperation in the Arctic Council.

“We remain convinced of the enduring value of the Arctic Council for circumpolar cooperation and reiterate our support for this institution and its work. We hold a responsibility to the people of the Arctic, including the Indigenous peoples, who contribute to and benefit from the important work undertaken in the Council,” the statement says. According to these member states, in light of the unfolding situation in Ukraine, their representatives “will not travel to Russia for meetings of the Arctic Council”. Additionally, these states “are temporarily pausing participation in all meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies”.

In response to this, Russian Arctic and Far East Minister Alexey Chekunkov stated as follows: “Despite the decision by some member states to suspend their participation in the Arctic Council cooperation, we will carry on our activities to push forward the development in the Arctic”. For instance, the Ministry intends to keep following the Arctic Council’s action plan to address the challenge of climate change in the Arctic. Russia is still open to responsible cooperation in the High North, the Ministry says.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
5 March 2022
Arctic Today