The United States will open its world’s northernmost diplomatic station on Friday, a symbol of the Arctic’s growing importance to Washington, at a time when cooperation among Arctic nations is being affected by Ukraine’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken announced the opening of the station, in Tromsø, northern Norway, in June, to allow the United States to have a “diplomatic footprint across the Arctic Circle.” , did he declare.1.
This station, called a “presence post”, will not offer consular services. “It’s symbolically significant,” said Andreas Østhagen, a senior researcher at the Oslo-based Fridtjof Nansen Institute. “It’s a move that shows how much more importance the United States places on the Arctic today than it did five or 10 years ago.”1.
Tromsø is the largest city in Arctic Norway, located approximately 400 km (250 miles) west of Russia. Norway and Russia share a border in the Arctic. During the Cold War, Washington had a station in Tromsø, but closed it in 1994.1.
Tromsø is also the headquarters of the Arctic Council, a polar organization made up of the eight Arctic states: Russia, United States, Canada, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. Cooperation within the Arctic Council between Moscow and western Arctic states was suspended following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. More recently, some cooperation within the Council resumed, but remains limited to the level of senior diplomats, without any discussion between political leaders1.
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