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    Decision on Lavrov’s Participation in Alaska Arctic Council Not Made Yet

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    Russia is preparing for the Alaska Arctic Council’s ministerial meeting, which is set to take place in May, however the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the upcoming event is currently under question, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In March, US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said that Lavrov was expected to attend the council as it would be a good opportunity for Moscow and Washington to discuss the Arctic region.

    “The event is planned and the preparation… for it is ongoing, but currently I am not ready to confirm that the ministerial level of all participating countries at this event will be fulfilled. We are still engaged in discussions on the conference's content, but the issue of the Russian foreign minister’s participation is a matter of a separate decision. Now I am proceeding from the fact that there is no solution yet,” Ryabkov said.

    A ministerial meeting is scheduled in Fairbanks on May 11, concluding US chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

    The council is comprised of Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The intergovernmental group aims to facilitate cooperation among the eight states and Arctic indigenous communities and focuses on sustainable development and environmental protection of the region.


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