The decisions that the Arctic Council will take without the participation of the Russian side, will be illegal and they violate the consensus principle, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.
“Such a step cannot but give cause for concern both of Russia as its current chair and of the whole international community interested in further sustainable development of the region,” Antonov was quoted as saying by the press service of the embassy on its Telegram channel when commenting on a joint statement of western participants of the Arctic Council on limited resumption of its activities without Moscow’s participation. “We state that this unique format of cooperation between states is still being politicized. The decisions on behalf of the Arctic Council taken without our countries will be illegal and they violate the consensus principle stipulated by its guideline documents,” he explained.
“It is simply impossible to efficiently settle the problems of the Arctic without Russia,” the diplomat added.
Earlier on Wednesday Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, the US, Finland and Sweden decided to resume the work of the Arctic Council without Russia’s participation. A corresponding statement was published on websites of their foreign services. On March 3, all countries of the Arctic Council excluding Russia released a written statement, in which they refused to take part in meetings chaired by Russia and taking place on its territory due to the situation around Ukraine.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization of Arctic states, containing Denmark (along with Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, Finland, and Sweden. In 2021, when the Council marked its 25th anniversary, the two-year presidency came over from Iceland to Russia.