Thursday, March 27, 2014

Canada, Russia continue to talk as part of Arctic Council meeting

Canada, Russia continue Arctic talks
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq answers a question during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Thursday, January 30, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada may be upset at Russia over Ukraine, but conversations with the bear continue over the Arctic.

Government officials confirm that a Russian delegation is attending a meeting in Yellowknife this week held by the Arctic Council, an eight-member group of countries that ring the North. All members are attending, even though the council includes some of Russia's harshest critics, such as Canada and the United States.
"The prime minister has instructed Canadian officials to review all bilateral interactions with Russia," said Amanda Gordon, spokeswoman for Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, the current head of the council.

"For the moment, however, Arctic Council work does continue as planned."

The Yellowknife meeting began Tuesday and continues until Thursday. The delegations are being led by bureaucrats, not politicians, and are all closed to the media.

It's the second time senior Arctic officials have met since Canada assumed its two-year chairmanship of the council.



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