Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Joint Declaration from Arctic States: Pausing Arctic Council Meetings

Arktisk råds møte i Reykjavik 2021
From the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Reykjavik 2021. (Photo: Gunnar Vigfusson, Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

In a joint declaration, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the USA state that their representatives will not go to Russia for meetings at the Arctic Council.

“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".

"Additionally, our states are temporarily pausing participation in all meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, pending consideration of the necessary modalities that can allow us to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances.”

These words are from a joint declaration published Thursday by Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the USA.

“Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and note the grave impediments to international cooperation, including in the Arctic, that Russia’s actions have caused,” the statement reads.

“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.”

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.