The Arctic Council is the most recent diplomatic organisation in the Arctic to suspend its activity due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to competing claims between Russia and Canada over 222,000 square nautical miles of the Arctic seabed (Russia has also challenged Denmark’s claim to a comparably large portion of the seabed). Having the longest Arctic coastline, Russia has tried to take advantage of climate change’s effects on Arctic ice by prospecting for resources (oil, gas and coal) and gaining shorter trade routes to the West. In order to do so, in recent years it expanded its military presence and icebreaker fleet in the Arctic, updating 18 air bases from the Cold War era (the Kola Peninsula hosts most of the country’s nuclear deterrence and capabilities). The Kremlin is currently the Arctic Council chair (first year of a two-year term), a position rotated among Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. Three other European organizations active on Arctic affairs (Nordic Council of Ministers, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Barents Euro-Arctic Council) also announced suspension of cooperation with Moscow. The invasion of Ukraine could force Canada, the US and other nations to change their presence in the Arctic, beginning with modernization of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a partnership between Canadian and American military forces, in order to strengthen the existing Arctic defense efforts. Read more: NYTimes