United States engagement with international partners in this region is extremely important, as governance of the Arctic region falls to the United States and the seven other Arctic States: Canada, Iceland, Denmark (through Greenland), Finland, Russia, Norway, and Sweden. International cooperation takes place in multiple fora, such as the Arctic Council, International Maritime Organization, and the new Arctic Coast Guard Forum. Each of these serves a purpose to advance specific priorities and affords the opportunity to engage with appropriate delegations. By and large, our international Arctic engagement takes place through the Arctic Council, the preeminent forum for international diplomacy on Arctic matters.
Unfortunately, our engagement with Russia, in particular on Arctic issues, is complicated by Russia’s aggressive action in Ukraine and attempted occupation of Crimea. But we have worked with Russia on Arctic issues during past political crises and are maintaining activities related to protecting the Arctic environment, ensuring maritime safety, including search and rescue, and enforcing laws. We also continue to work with Russia in multilateral fora, including under the auspices of the Arctic Council, and our allies are following similar policies.