Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia to withdraw from Barents Euro-Arctic Council
Russia has decided to end its participation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC). Russia has been a member for 30 years.
According to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the decision to withdraw was caused by actions of the council’s Western members including Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the EU.
“The Council’s activities have been effectively paralyzed since March 2022. The Finnish presidency failed to confirm the transfer of the BEAC presidency to Russia, scheduled for October 2023, in violation of the principle of rotation, thus disrupting the necessary preparations,” the statement says.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent out the respective message to the foreign ministers of the BEAC member states, saying:
“We are convinced that the fleeting political situation, which our northern European neighbours are guided by, does not correspond to the long-term interests of the people of the Arctic region. Responsibility for breaking down the architecture of Barents cooperation rests entirely with our ‘partners’.”