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Tue, 02/06/2024 - 09:55

Russia Not Ruling Out Withdrawal From Arctic Council if Necessary

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia is not ruling out withdrawing from the Arctic Council if its activities do not meet Moscow's interests, the Russian Foreign Ministry's ambassador-at-large, Nikolay Korchunov, told Sputnik.
"We assume that we should have all options for foreign policy maneuvering, including withdrawal from the Arctic Council if its activities do not meet Russian interests," Korchunov said.
The council is functioning "at its lowest capacity," the diplomat said. Norway, which currently chairs the organization, is trying to restart its work in a full format, but is not finding support among the other council members, he added.

Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that promotes cooperation in the region, especially in the field of environmental protection. The Council includes Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, the US, Finland and Sweden.

The rotation of the Chair countries takes place every two years. The chairmanship passed to Russia in May 2021. In March 2022, the Western member countries of the council announced the suspension of participation in any events of the association in protest against Russian special military operation in Ukraine. In May 2023, Norway assumed the presidency of the Council.
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