The ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council is slated to be held in the Canadian city of Iqaluit located in Nunavut on April 24-25. The eight permanent members of the forum include Russia, the United States, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The meeting in April will mark the end of Canada's chairmanship.
Several projects aimed at protecting circumpolar biodiversity and the marine environment, enhancing emergency preparedness and response, as well as tackling oil pollution were approved for the ministerial meeting.
The foreign ministers of the member states were supposed to sign an agreement on preventing oil spills in Iqaluit. However, the non-binding document will not be signed, according to Russia's Izvestiya newspaper, citing those familiar with the issue. "All the meeting participants, except one country, are interested in signing the document," an unnamed source told the daily.
Why is the AC a good venue to address the challenge of oil pollution prevention? Answers from several delegates here: http://t.co/p7xuJFJ1l3— Arctic Council (@ArcticCouncil) 19 февраля 2015
Some say, "Canada refused to sign the document together with Russia but no one ever adopted such a stance officially," Ksenia Yartseva of the Arctic Council told Izvestiya. Decisions in the forum are made on the basis of consensus.
On February 18, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new economic sanctions and travel bans against 37 Russian and Ukrainian individuals as well as economic sanctions against 17 Russian and Ukrainian entities over their alleged role in the escalation of the situation in Ukraine.