Thu, 30 Mar 2023

COPENHAGEN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Addressing the Arctic Frontiers conference 2023 in Tromso, Norway, on Tuesday, Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, called for "transparency and predictability" in the Arctic region.

"We need to maintain some contact to minimize the risk of misunderstandings and unintentional escalation in the Arctic," she said.

According to the minister, the situation in the Arctic region is stable, but "things can change fast" because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, so Norway is closely monitoring the military activities in the region and increasing its defensive presence while "coordinating our activities with allies."

Norway will take over as chair of the Arctic Council in May.

The Arctic Council, which is currently chaired by Russia, has been inactive since March 3, 2022, when Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States temporarily suspended their participation in all council and subsidiary body meetings.

"It is our ambition as chair to resume the work of the Arctic Council -- and that means engaging with all of its member states ... We must make sure that the Arctic does not become the only region in the world with no effective multilateral cooperation," Huitfeldt said.

The Arctic Frontiers conference, held in Tromso and online between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2, focuses on transformation, modeling, adaptation and development.

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