Estonia’s Arctic Council bid fails

Currently holding the Arctic Council’s rotating presidency is Russia. [EPA-EFE/KIMMO BRANDT]

Estonia’s bid for observer status in the Arctic Council was shot down by the council’s members – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Russia and the US – although it has not been revealed who was in favour or against.

Russia currently holds the Arctic Council’s rotating presidency.

The setback is a first step forward on a long journey, Estonia’s Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Centre) who chose a rather positive tone told ERR News on Tuesday.

According to her, Estonia will continue bidding for observer status and will benefit from the contacts made in the long run. The next chance for being approved arrives in 2023.

Observers are entitled to propose and contribute to projects and working groups and attend meetings. The countries currently holding observer status are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, China, Poland, India, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, some of which are not in close proximity to the Arctic Region.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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