Russia may quit Arctic Council if necessary: foreign ministry-Xinhua

Russia may quit Arctic Council if necessary: foreign ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2024-02-06 17:25:15|Editor: huaxia

MOSCOW, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Russia may leave the Arctic Council if Moscow's interests are not met, local media cited Nikolai Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, as saying on Tuesday.

In an interview with Russia's RIA Novosti, Korchunov said that the council functions "at the lowest level." Norway, which is currently the organization's chair, is trying to resume its work but is still seeking support from other council members. Moscow's participation will depend on how well the council's activities align with Russia's interests.

"We proceed from the fact that we should have all options for foreign policy maneuver, including leaving the Arctic Council if its activities do not correspond to Russian interests," said Korchunov.

The Arctic Council, established in 1996, is a high-level intergovernmental forum that facilitates cooperation in the region, especially in environmental protection. The council comprises Denmark (representing Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, Finland and Sweden. The chairing countries rotate every two years. Russia took over the chairmanship in May 2021.

In March 2022, Western countries in the council announced the suspension of their participation in any forum activities in protest against events in Ukraine. In May 2023, the chairmanship of the council was passed to Norway.