Indigenous leaders warn international community: Continued tensions with Russia will harm Arctic

By Eilís Quinn

Alaska Dispatch News

Arctic indigenous leaders cautioned the circumpolar community that the continued intrusion of geopolitical tensions with Russia into the Arctic Council could negatively impact the wellbeing of Arctic peoples.

“In times of geopolitical instability, and changing economics, the indigenous people’s communities will be the first to be negatively affected,” said Áile Javo, president of the Saami Council, the group representing indigenous reindeer herders whose traditional territory of Sapmi stretches through Arctic Norway, Sweden and Finland into northwest Russia.

Moscow Dismisses Norway’s Protests Over Arctic Islands Visit

AP News

Russia on Monday dismissed Norway’s protests over a weekend visit to a Norwegian archipelago by a delegation that included Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin.

During a visit to the Arctic on Sunday to inaugurate Russia’s new floating research station, the delegation stopped by Norway’s Svalbard islands.

Rogozin, who oversees defense in the government among other things and is known for his nationalist views, has been slapped with sanctions barring him entry to the European Union and non-EU Norway over his position on Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Russian foreign minister to miss Canada’s final Arctic Council meeting

By Staff

Global News

Relations between Canada and Russia will likely remain as icy as ever in light of the sudden revelation from Russia that they will not be sending their foreign minister to the upcoming Arctic Council meeting in Iqaluit this month.

Is this part of a continued “tit-for-tat” battle?

Dealings between the two countries have been chilly since Russian soldiers annexed Crimea last year leading Canada, and the West in general, to begin imposing sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s government as well as Russian businesses.

Obama Is Trying To Protect A Huge Arctic Wildlife Zone, But Congress Likely Won’t Have It

By Natasha Geiling

Climate Progress

On Friday, President Obama formally sent Congress recommendations to set aside a majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness, finalizing a request first announced by the White House in January. The protections would ban oil and natural gas drilling across some 12 million acres, a level of protection that has drawn — and will likely continue to draw — staunch opposition from Republicans in Congress.