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Norway takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia

May 12, 2023

At the 13th meeting of the Arctic Council, which took place in Salekhard, Russia, on Thursday, Norway took over the rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia.


According to Ukrinform, this was reported by the Associated Press.

In March 2022, seven Arctic Council member states suspended their participation in the intergovernmental body in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

The countries, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, said they would not send representatives to the council meetings in Russia.

Research involving Russia, ranging from climate work to polar bear mapping, has been suspended, and scientists have lost access to important sites in the Russian Arctic.

"This is a huge challenge for Norway. They have to isolate Russia and at the same time they have to make sure they don't provoke Russia to dissolve the council," said Rasmus Gjedsoe Bertelsen of the Arctic University of Norway.

Several countries, including France, Germany, China, Japan, India, and Korea, participate in Arctic Council meetings as observers, which means that international politics is another challenge for Norway's presidency, Bertelsen said.

During Russia's two-year presidency, the Arctic Council faced the biggest threat to its existence since its creation in 1996. On March 3 last year, all founding members except Russia withdrew from the Council in response to the country's "blatant violations of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity based on international law."

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 12/05/2023

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