EFFECTIVE SUNDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2022 Due to current events, there will be no official representation or participation by the Government of the Russian Federation at Arctic360’s Annual Arctic Conference. We look forward to continuing our important Arctic discussions over the two-day conference with interested nations to discuss Northern perspectives, priorities and continued collaboration on issues including civil-military infrastructure, strengthening human and regional security plus critical minerals and global supply chain, and Arctic Innovation.
The international events unfolding in Ukraine are devastating and horrific. The attempt to upend the international order has shown the resolve and affirmation of democratic alliances.
For the past 25 years, the Arctic Council has been praised for cooperative diplomacy in pursuit of fostering a sustainable, healthy, and prosperous Arctic and for its inhabitants. The Arctic Council’s work ranges from international collaboration among member states, Indigenous peoples, academics, and others on issues from climate change to COVID, to supporting northern business through the Arctic Economic Council and maritime cooperation from oil spill preparedness to Arctic Coast Guard collaboration. In fact, the Arctic Coast Guard Forum only wrapped up its last meeting in Arkhangelsk the week of 18 February 2022.
Arctic360’s upcoming Annual Arctic conference included one Session bringing together Arctic state Ambassadors to Canada and other Arctic Senior officials to discuss the Arctic Council at 25. This conversation should have been full of optimism and an affirmation of ongoing cooperation taking place at the top of the world. Russia currently holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and was expected to present on its Chairmanship. The onset of the war, however, changed everything and not all participants were prepared to share the stage with government representatives of the Russian Federation. It was clear, the business-as-usual stance between Arctic states and by extension at the Arctic Council has dramatically changed. A discussion to inaugurate 25 years of the Arctic Council and discussions of its future right now are also much more difficult to undertake when no one knows how the next two months much less two or twenty-five years will play out. All that is known now is that the Arctic Council will not, in the immediate future, look like the past 25 years.
The Arctic is a Region of Regions: Dialogue and Cooperation Must Continue
In our pivot our Session has a new focus: ‘Northern Perspectives’. Continued dialogue and cooperation – even without Russia – remains critically important, if not more so. We look forward to carrying out this discussion and the many others over our two days with our North American Arctic, Nordic Arctic, and other like-minded Arctic interested nations to discuss ongoing priorities and continued collaboration. There is much work to be done in the pursuit of a safe, stable, sustainable, and prosperous Northern American and Nordic Arctic.