Due to Russia’s non-provoked invasion of Ukraine, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has announced the suspension of its participation in the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF). The final decision was taken last Friday, reported public broadcaster Radio-Canada, quoting an e-mail from a CCG spokesperson.
Despite this withdrawal, the CCG is seeking ways to maintain its cooperation with the six other Arctic nations – the United States, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The spokesperson underlined the benefits of continued “constructive cooperation” on research, maritime rescue and environmental response matters.
The decision follows the March 3 announcement of the halt till further notice of the activities of the eight-nation Arctic Council, the top intergovernmental body of the region.
Russia was mid-way through its two-year tenure as the Council’s rotating chair. Similarly, Russia was current chair of the Forum that was established in 2015.
The last big exercise of the circumpolar states was Arctic Guardian 2021, hosted by Iceland. The members practiced responding to a collision between an tanker and a cruise vessel. (Photo from Arctic Coast Guard Forum)