Arctic Caucus Co-Chairs Murkowski, King Support Decisions of Arctic Organizations Amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Angus King (I-Maine), co-chairs of the Senate Arctic Caucus, issued the following statements commending Arctic intergovernmental forums for publicly denouncing Russia’s war against Ukraine. This included a joint statement from seven nations of the Arctic Council (all but Russia) and a decision to pause all meetings and engagements in Russia. The Arctic Economic Council also announced actions.

“The Arctic has long been a zone of peace where a rules-based order prevails. All Arctic nations must act in accordance with the values required to maintain that order, with respect for territorial sovereignty and basic human rights. However, Russia’s unprovoked and devastating war on Ukraine has both direct consequences and global ramifications that no country or institution can ignore,” Senator Murkowski said. “It’s important that we send a clear, united message to Russia that its current actions are inhibiting its ability to lead as the chair of the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council right now.  The rest of the region must remain united in strident opposition to its deadly aggressions.”

“In 1987, Mikael Gorbachev spoke of the Arctic as a ‘zone of peace’, where the nations of the Far North prioritize international cooperation and demonstrate respect for our allies and neighbors; 35 years later, Russia’s hostile and unprovoked attack of Ukraine goes against the entire spirit of the Arctic Council,” said Senator King.  “The Arctic Council and other intergovernmental agencies’ suspension of activities due to Russia’s invasion is entirely consistent with the standards and expectations of the region, and the United States will work to make sure any restoration of ties comes with the high, peaceful standards the Arctic Council has demonstrated for a generation.”

Background: Today, March 3, 2022, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States issued a joint statement  on Arctic Council Cooperation condemning Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The Arctic Economic Council released a statement on March 1, 2022 after holding an Executive Committee meeting.

Since 2021, Russia has chaired both the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council for a term of two years. 

Related Issues: Arctic