A new course for the Arctic Council in uncertain times

Published: 2022
Product type: Article
Categories: Arctic, Arctic Policy Issues, and Geopolitics & Economics

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Citation:

Bloom, E. A new course for the Arctic Council in uncertain times. Arctic Today. 18 March 2022.

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The other seven Arctic states must find a way to collaborate without Russia — and without closing the door to future rapprochement.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had tremendous impact on international relations globally. While the Arctic has generally been immune from external political pressures, the shocking developments in Ukraine led the seven states other than Russia that are members of the Arctic Council on March 3, 2022 to take the unprecedented step of formally pausing the work of the Arctic Council “pending consideration of the necessary modalities that can allow us to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances.”

This disruption of Arctic cooperation is necessary given the current crisis. However, regional contacts and cooperation serve the interests of all Arctic States as well as Indigenous peoples and local communities, and it is important to consider what sort of cooperation can continue despite the conflict in Ukraine. Moreover, given the essential role that Russia plays in the region, it is important to consider how all Arctic states can be brought back together in the future.