Sea ice in the Arctic
Sea ice in the Arctic © Roscongress

Russian Chairmanship 2021-2023

Responsible Governance for a Sustainable Arctic

A cross-cutting priority of the Russian Chairmanship in the Arctic Council will be "Responsible Governance for Sustainable Arctic" through promoting collective approaches to the sustainable development of the Arctic, environmentally, socially and economically balanced, enhancing synergy and cooperation and coordination with other regional structures, as well as implementation of the Council's Strategic Plan, while respecting the rule of law.

The comprehensive program of the Russian Chairmanship involves multilateral cooperation in the following priority areas:

1. People of the Arctic, including Indigenous Peoples

The sustainable development of the Arctic is largely determined by the quality of human capital. The Russian Chairmanship’s main focus will be given to enhancing sustainability, resilience and viability of the Arctic communities, climate change adaptation measures, improving the well-being, health, education, quality of life of the Arctic inhabitants, as well as ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in the region. Promotion of scientific, educational and cultural exchanges, tourism and contacts between peoples and regions will also be high on its agenda. Special attention - to the preservation of linguistic and cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples of the Arctic, to the youth cooperation across the borders.

2. Environment protection, including Climate Change

Taking into account the rapid climate change in the Arctic, most notably accompanied by degradation of permafrost and the icy gas hydrides emissions, the Russian Chairmanship will continue supporting efforts to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, increase adaptation of life activities and ensuring resilience to its consequences, preservation and restoration of the environment, sustainable use of natural resources, maintaining the health of the Arctic ecosystems, including marine environment, preserving biodiversity, in particular, the Arctic migratory birds. In the context of further development of the region it is important to take into account not only the vulnerability of the Arctic to climate change, but also its long-term contribution – due to its natural, energy and transport resources and solutions – in facilitating the transition to a low-emission economy and, accordingly, to the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement. Equally topical task is to promote the introduction of advanced sustainable innovative technologies into the transport sector, industry, infrastructure and energy, including the use of renewable energy sources to improve the standards of living of the Arctic inhabitants.

3. Socio-Economic Development

A key condition for the well-being and prosperity of the Arctic is its sustainable economic development. The Russian Chairmanship will be further promoting constructive economic cooperation in the region, developing of reliable energy infrastructure, sustainable transport routes, including shipping, telecommunication systems, food production sector, improving the conditions for sustainable investment flows, encouraging innovations and entrepreneurship, business financing.

4. Strengthening of the Arctic Council

The Russian Chairmanship will continue supporting the establishment of the Arctic Council as the leading format for international Arctic cooperation, improving its work, increasing the effectiveness of its Working and Expert groups, the Secretariat, as well as developing mechanisms for financing the Council's activities, including its projects and programs, implementing decisions and recommendations, as well as encouraging the dialogue and interaction with the Observers to provide their meaningful and balanced engagement in the Council’s activities. It intends to further intensify collaboration of the Arctic Council with the Arctic Economic Council, the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, the University of the Arctic. Among the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship – promoting international scientific cooperation, in particular, exploring the possibility to conduct an Arctic Council scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean.


His Excellency Lavrov Sergey Viktorovich
His Excellency Lavrov Sergey Viktorovich
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We hope that Russia's Chairmanship in the Arctic Council will serve to further strengthen regional cooperation. Meeting the challenges we face in high latitudes today requires approaches that are truly collective.

The Arctic is our home, and it is our direct responsibility to preserve it for present and future generations.

  • Born in 1950, Russian.
  • 1972 – graduated from the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Has command of English, French and Sinhalese. Started his career in 1972 at the Soviet Embassy in Sri Lanka.
  • 1976-1981 – worked in the Department of International Organizations of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • 1981-1988 – First Secretary, Counselor and Senior Counselor in the Permanent Representation of the USSR at the UN.
  • 1988-1990 – Deputy Head of the Department of International Economic Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • 1990-1992 – Director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations and Global Problems.
  • 1992-1994 – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
  • 1994-2004 – Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation at the United Nations.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation since 2004.
  • Has the rank of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation.
  • Decorated with government awards.
  • Married, with one daughter.

Meet the Russian Chairmanship Team

Nikolay Korchunov
Nikolay Korchunov
Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials; Ambassador-at-large of Russia's MFA

Nikolay V. Korchunov assumed his duties as Ambassador at Large for Arctic Cooperation at the MFA of Russia and Senior Arctic Official of Russia to the Arctic Council in December 2018. Before this appointment, Ambassador Korchunov served as Deputy Director of the Second European Department, MFA of Russia, and Head of Russia’s delegation to the Arctic Council Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation and Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic.

After graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Nikolay V. Korchunov began his diplomatic career in 1991 and has since then occupied various positions at the Headquarters of the MFA of Russia and abroad. He speaks English, Swedish and Spanish. Married, has three children.

Professional Record:

  • 2018-present: Ambassador at Large for Arctic Cooperation at the MFA of Russia and Senior Arctic Official of Russia to the Arctic Council
  • 2015-2018: Deputy Director of the Second European Department, MFA of Russia, Head of Russia’s delegation to the Arctic Council Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation and Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic
  • 2009-2015: Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO in Brussels (December 2011 – November 2012 – acting Head of the Mission)
  • 2004-2009: Head of EU Political Section, Department for European Cooperation, MFA of Russia (political dialogue, ESDP, cooperation on the EU-Russia external and internal security); member of the governmental delegation in Geneva discussion on stability in South Caucasus; short-time secondment to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the UK (2005 – UK Presidency of the EU) and Portugal (2007 – Portuguese Presidency of the EU)
  • 1991-2004: various diplomatic positions at the MFA of Russia, Embassies of the Russian Federation in Finland and Sweden
Sergey Derevyagin
Chief Counsellor
Gleb Rusetsky
Vladimir Mazalov
Olga Kolosova
Second Secretary

Envoys to the Russian Chairmanship

Special Representative for Indigenous and Regional Cooperation
Dr. Mikhail Pogodaev
Email | Read interview

Special Representative on Marine Activities
Nikolay Shabalin

Youth Envoy for International Cooperation in the Arctic
Mikhail Uksusov
Email | Read interview

Indigenous Youth Envoy, RAIPON
Ekaterina Evay

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