Russia secedes from Barents Euro-Arctic Council — MFA

Russia has decided to secede from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, News.az reports.

"Through the fault of the Western participants of the council (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the EU) its activity has been essentially paralyzed since March 2022. The Finnish presidency has not affirmed its readiness to transfer the leadership of the BEAC to Russia in October 2023 in violation of the principle of rotation, disrupting the necessary preparatory activities," the ministry stated. "In the current circumstances, we are forced to announce the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the BEAC."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a notice of the country’s secession from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council to the foreign ministers of the organization's member countries, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, as well as to the International Barents Secretariat in Kirkenes, Norway, on 18 September 2023," the statement said.

"We are convinced that the immediate political situation, which our North European neighbors are going by, does not correspond to the long-term interests of the inhabitants of the polar region. The responsibility for the collapse of the Barents cooperation architecture lies entirely with our ‘partners,’" the ministry said.

According to the ministry, "Russia will continue to implement its national goal in the North."

"We remain open for interaction with all those who are constructive, ready for equal dialogue and mutually beneficial joint work," the ministry said.

The ministry also stated that for past 30 years the council has been "a useful and effective format of cross-border interaction" that has helped to maintain peace and stability in the North, its sustainable social and economic development, environmental protection, strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties and communication between people, including representatives of indigenous peoples.

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