Russia withdraws from Barents Euro-Arctic Council

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists following a live nationwide broadcast call-in in Moscow, Russia June 15, 2017. [Reuters]

Russia has made the decision to withdraw from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The BEAC "has been a useful and effective format for cross-border interaction" throughout 30 years, and has contributed to the maintenance of peace and stability in the North, the statement said.

Activities of the council have been paralyzed since March 2022, due to the council's Western members, and Finland has not confirmed its readiness to transfer the chairmanship of the BEAC on to Russia in October 2023, the statement said.

"Under the current conditions, we are forced to announce the withdrawal of Russia from the BEAC," the Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia will continue to implement its national goals in the North. We remain open for interaction with everyone, who is committed to a constructive approach, and is ready for equal dialogue and mutually beneficial teamwork," it said.

The BEAC was established in 1993, and its objective is to promote stability and sustainable development in the Barents region.

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