March 3, 2024

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Arctic: Governor-General wants to include Russia in discussions

Arctic: Governor-General wants to include Russia in discussions

In an interview after the Governor General returned from his official visit to Finland, he emphasized that issues related to indigenous peoples, research and climate change cross borders.

However, she acknowledged that the situation exists Very difficult.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent Mary Simon to Helsinki this month to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Finland, along with a delegation of Arctic researchers and government officials.

The visit comes as Finland seeks closer military ties with other Western countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (right) during a meeting with Canadian Governor General Mary Simon in Helsinki on February 7.

Photo: AFP / Markku Ulander

Finland shares a 1340 kilometer border with Russia. The country has maintained a strong military over the past decades, but has avoided a formal alliance with the NATO military alliance.

When Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year, Canada was the first country to vote to join the group.

Last October, the Finnish government revised the Arctic strategy it published a year earlier, saying the invasion of Ukraine marked a new Cold War.

It should try to maintain Finland functional relationship with neighboring Russia on issues like climate change and indigenous peoples, but not much else.

We work together despite the war

In an interview, Mary Simon said it is clear that Canada must continue to work with Russia and all Arctic countries on issues such as climate change and indigenous peoples.

What is important in every country is understanding how we can work together when a terrible war is going on. [ce qui est] Contrary to rules-based international regulationshe said.

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Mary Simon insisted it had no deep ties to Russia.

Canada takes its responsibility to protect our sovereignty in the North very seriously. He will certainly protect Canadian interests at home and abroad.she explained.

What happens in the North affects the world, and when you look at security issues and climate change, the world is paying more attention than ever.An Inuk who grew up in northern Quebec included the governor general.

Long experience in the topic

Before taking office as Governor General, Mary Simon worked hard on Canada’s Arctic and Northern policy framework, leading dozens of consultations across Canada’s North.

Previously, he was Canada’s Ambassador to Denmark, focusing on work with the Inuit of Greenland.

Mary Simon, the Far North has generally avoided geopolitical conflict for decades, but is attracting increasing attention as a location for resource extraction and shipping lanes.

The Arctic has always been an area of ​​cooperation. Defense and security challenges have recently emerged due to the growing strategic importance of the region. »

A quote Mary Simon, Governor General

The tension is particularly notable at the intergovernmental forum of the Arctic Council, whose proceedings have been largely suspended since Russia’s invasion.

The organization, which Mary Simon helped found, coordinates circumnavigation, shipping routes, and search and rescue services among eight nations and indigenous nations.

Mary Simon highlighted the delicate situation facing the Arctic Council.

Sea level rise has a direct impactShe mentioned the area. These are things we must continue to work on together.

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