Norway takes over presidency of Arctic Council from Russia

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway has taken over the Arctic Council’s rotating presidency from Russia. The move on Thursday came amid concerns that the work of the eight-country intergovernmental body in protecting the polar region is at risk because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Seven Western members decided to pause their work with Russia in the council after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. As a result, research involving Russia on issues ranging from climate change to polar bears has been put on hold, and scientists have lost access to important facilities in the Russian Arctic. The Arctic Council makes binding agreements on environmental protection and gives a voice to the Indigenous peoples of the region.