Arctic: Governor General Wants to Include Russia in Discussions

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Arctic: the Governor General wants to include Russia in the discussions

Governor General Mary Simon, back from Finland, spoke in favor of continued collaboration in the Arctic, despite differences with Russia.

< p class="e-p">Governor General Mary Simon believes Canada should find a way to continue its Arctic collaboration with Russia and countries in the region, while holding Moscow accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

< p class="e-p">In an interview after returning from her State visit to Finland, the Governor General stressed that issues related to Indigenous peoples, research and climate change transcend borders.

However, she acknowledged that the situation was 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, alongside 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 Niinistö (right) during a meeting with Governor General of Canada Mary Simon , on February 7, in Helsinki.

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

It was until last year, when Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO, with Canada being the first country to vote to join the group.

Last October, the Finnish government tweaked the Arctic strategy it had published a year earlier, saying the invasion of Ukraine meant a new Cold War was underway. /p>

This calls on Finland to try to maintain a functional relationship with neighboring Russia on issues such as climate change and indigenous peoples, but nothing else.< /p>

In an interview, Mary Simon said it was clear that Canada should continue to work with Russia and all Arctic countries on issues like climate change and indigenous peoples.

< p class="e-p">What is important in each of the countries is to understand how we can continue to work together when a terrible war is going on [which is] contradictory with the; rules-based international order, she said.

Mary Simon stressed that this does not mean having deep ties with Russia.

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

What happens in the North has an impact on the world, and when you look at security issues and climate change, the world pays more attention than ever, added the Governor General, an Inuk who grew up in northern Quebec.

Before taking office as Governor General, Mary Simon worked hard on Canada's Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, leading dozens of consultations across the North Canadian.

Previously, she was Canada's Ambassador to Denmark, a role focused on working with the Inuit of Greenland.

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

“The Arctic has always been the region of cooperation. And safety and security challenges have recently emerged as the region's strategic importance grows.

—Mary Simon, Governor General

The tension has been particularly notable within the intergovernmental forum of the Arctic Council, whose activities have been largely on hold since the Russian invasion.

L& #x27;organization, which Mary Simon helped found, coordinates circumpolar research, shipping routes, and search and rescue services among eight countries as well as Indigenous nations.

Mary Simon highlighted the delicate situation facing the Arctic Council.

Sea level rise has a direct impact, said she mentioned about the area. These are things we must continue to work on together.

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