"LONDON/WASHINGTON - Countries of the Arctic Council said on Thursday they would boycott future talks in Russia over its Ukraine invasion, throwing international cooperation in the region into upheaval at a time when climate change is opening it up to resource exploitation.
The Arctic Council brings together countries with Arctic territories to collaborate on matters that affect the region's residents. It does not deal with security issues.
Russia, which currently holds the council's rotating chairmanship, has posed "grave impediments to international cooperation, including in the Arctic," the council's other seven member countries said in a statement.
The countries – Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, the United States, Canada and Denmark – said they were suspending their work indefinitely, and would skip planned talks in May in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk due to Moscow's "flagrant violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."