The US announced Friday that it will appoint an envoy for the Arctic region for the first time in its history amid Russia’s increased military actions in the region recently.
"... the President plans to elevate the Arctic Coordinator position by appointing an Ambassador-at-Large for the Arctic Region, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate," Vedant Patel, deputy spokesperson of the State Department, said in a written statement.
The ambassador will advance US policy in the northern polar region, engage with counterparts in Arctic and non-Arctic nations as well as Indigenous groups, and work closely with domestic stakeholders.
"The United States remains committed to constructive cooperation in the Arctic, foremost through the Arctic Council, and the Ambassador-at-Large will work in close partnership with the US Senior Arctic Official, the federal Arctic science community, and the Arctic Executive Steering Committee," he added.
Patel also told reporters that the ambassador, who will be the first to be appointed to the region in US history, will be in contact with seven other Arctic countries – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.
Peace and stability in the Arctic region are of “critical strategic importance” and “priority” for the US, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The new ambassador will be named soon and the appointment will be subject to Senate approval, Blinken added.
The US move came at a time when Russia increased its military presence in the Arctic region and China established Arctic research stations.