Russia postpones its Arctic Forum to spring 2022

When it is eventually, held next spring, the postponed forum will be closely linked to Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a presidential advisor said.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - April 23, 2021
The Arctic Forum 2019 was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)

Russia’s major bi-annual Arctic conference, which was originally to be organized in spring 2021, will now be postponed to late March or early April 2022.

According to Presidential Adviser Anton Kobyakov, the conference will be closely linked with the Russian chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

“Under Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the organization of the forum Arctic – Territory of Dialogue will be of significant practical importance for the handling of key issues on Arctic territories,” Kobyakov says in a comment.

The event gathers key political decision-makers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as business representatives and foreign guests. In the 2019 event, neighboring Nordic countries were represented with top representatives, among them Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

“The international Arctic forum will be yet another arena for communication of Russian achievements, as well as for discussions with the international expert community relevant questions about development of Arctic territories, building of port infrastructure, nature protection and improved quality of living,” Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev explains. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for Russian Arctic development and heads the country’s Arctic Commission.

Russia takes over the rotating two-year chair of the Arctic Council in May 2021. The council includes eight states, six so-called permanent participants and 38 observers.

The Arctic Forum is branded under the slogan “Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” and was previously organized in north Russian cities. In 2019, it was permanently moved to St. Petersburg.