Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States condemned on March 3 Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and note the grave impediments to international cooperation, including in the Arctic, that Russia’s actions have caused.
“We remain convinced of the enduring value of the Arctic Council for circumpolar cooperation and reiterate our support for this institution and its work,” the Artic Council said in a joint statement. “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,” they added.
“The core principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, based on international law, have long underpinned the work of the Arctic Council, a forum which Russia currently chairs. In light of Russia’s flagrant violation of these principles, our representatives will not travel to Russia for meetings of the Arctic Council,” the statement read. Additionally, the Arctic Council states said they are temporarily pausing participation in all meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, pending consideration of the necessary modalities that can allow them to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances.