Thinking about Russain Arctic council chairmanship: Challenges and Opportunities


Aleksander Sergunin (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia)


This study aims at examining the following research questions: What has been the record of Russia's Arctic Council membership by the present-day moment? How has Russia's role evolved? What have been some of the main issues, agreements, disagreements, challenges and problems? What is Moscow's agenda during the Russian Council chairmanship in 2021–2023? The author identifies the following priorities for Russia's Arctic Council presidential agenda: climate change action; sustainable socioeconomic and environmental development; social cohesiveness and connectivity in the region; indigenous peoples; conservation of biodiversity; science diplomacy; Council's partial institutional reform. Moscow will probably try to make the Arctic Council's budget, including specific project budgets, more transparent and systemized. The Russian presidency aims to make the role of permanent participants and observers in the Council's activities more visible. At the same time, Moscow will avoid its former claims to transform the Council from an intergovernmental forum to a full-fledged international organization and bring military security problematique to the Council's agenda. Russia's chairmanship will try to strengthen the Arctic Council's role in asserting regional stewardship by responding to the challenges of a rapidly changing Arctic and the increasingly more integrated policy frameworks from local to global scales.


Sergunin, A. Thinking about Russain Arctic council chairmanship: Challenges and Opportunities. Polar Science. 2021. In press.