Intensive High North Diplomacy at Work to Ensure the Future of the Arctic Council,

Norway will take over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia on the 11th of May 2023. This was stated by State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson (Labor) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Nansen High North Seminar at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute last week.

On that occasion, Russia has invited to a Ministerial Meeting in Siberia. Although neither the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor) nor State Secretary Petersson will be participating from the political management, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now working hard to ensure an orderly handover of the chairmanship – and to preserve the council as the most important international forum in the Arctic.

The State Secretary’s speech inspires optimism in one of Norway’s leading experts on the Arctic Council.[…]

”Preserving the Arctic Council as the most important international forum for handling Arctic issues is one of the main tasks of Norwegian foreign policy. This requires intensive High North diplomacy,” the State Secretary points out. […]

”Any form of political cooperation with Russia is now out of the question. But there are still opportunities to continue the work in the Arctic at a lower level. Intensive work is now being done to achieve sufficient agreement and understanding around this.” […]

”Without Russia, which possesses large parts of the Arctic coastline, the cooperation is amputated. A number of researchers, especially in the climate and environmental field, have warned that we will understand much less of how to ’save the Arctic’ without Russia,” the researcher points out.

”The practical cooperation and information exchange is only an illustrating example of something we need to keep going, even if it involves some Russian actors as well,” states Petersson. Läs artikel