By John Crump
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
When the Arctic Council meets this week in Yellowknife, participants will no doubt be thinking of the Ukraine. But they probably won’t be talking about it, at least during the official sessions.
Ukraine will be on their minds because Russia, which accounts for half of the Arctic region, is one of the eight nations making up the council, along with representatives of six Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.
There has been much high blown rhetoric about the Arctic recently. Articles and commentary abound on it the “race for resources” in a region opening up due to climate change. Others have pointed to it as a potential flash point between Russia and other states. Russia is seen as playing geopolitical hardball by planting flags at the North Pole and expanding its military reach in the region. Canadian politicians have also been known to turn up the rhetoric when talking about potential Russian threats to Canada’s northern borders.
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