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Finland Proposes Arctic Council Summit

Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb on Thursday proposed a summit meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council in the capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi. Speaking at a gathering of NATO parliamentarians in Helsinki, Stubb said that the strategic and military significance of the arctic region is growing because of climate change.

Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb Image: YLE

According to the Finnish Foreign Minister, the consequences of climate change are also opening new possibilities in the arctic, including new shipping routes and the exploitation of natural resources.

The Arctic Council is a cooperation body comprised of Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. The Finnish Foreign Ministry has expressed the hope that the work of the Council could be upgraded with the establishment of a permanent secretariat.

According to Stubb, Finland is especially interested in cooperation in the Barents Sea area where Finnish expertise in forestry, winter shipping and mining could be put to use. The Foreign Minister also said that Finland intends to increase staffing its consulate in Murmansk.

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