Russian experts consider likely scenarios for the future of the Arctic Council

Russian experts consider likely scenarios for the future of the Arctic Council

Experts from the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) have released a study based on statements by the seven Western countries in the Arctic Council, from March 3 and June 8, 2022.

In their study they have looked into the political and legal aspects of handling the environmental and economic issues in the northern polar region.

According to the description of the study on the RIAC’s website, “the authors of this analytical material have considered the likely scenarios of the future of the Arctic Council, taking account of existing research publications on the status of the council.”

The first scenario provides for Russia initiating its own withdrawal from the Arctic Council in response to statements made by the Western countries, members of the Arctic Council, in 2022. In the second scenario, the Western countries, members of i the Arctic Council, will create an alternative inter-governmental mechanism for managing the Arctic that will not include Russia.

In a third scenario, Russia keeps its membership in the Arctic Council as it is now while the Western countries are forecast to increasingly obstruct the actual participation of Russian representatives in the council’s activities.

“In addition, if Russia remains a member of the Arctic Council de jure, even in the most unfavorable political and legal circumstances that have been mentioned in the joint statements of the Western countries which are of the council, it will allow Russia to promptly respond to documents that the council develops,” says the study. “At the same time the Western countries, members of the Arctic Council will be forced to seek generally accepted wording in the documents on the environmental and socioeconomic development of the entire Arctic.”

The Russian International Affairs Council is a Russian membership-based non-profit organization. Through its activities the RIAC seeks to strengthen peace, friendship and accord between nations, prevent international conflicts and facilitate crisis settlement.