The leaders of Green parties of Canada, Norway, Finland, Russia and the United States unite their voices in condemning the closure of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) by the Russian Ministry of Justice.
We believe RAIPON’s closure by Russia is retaliation for the Association’s opposition to oil and gas development off the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia.
RAIPON represents 41 indigenous peoples in the Russian North and has status as Permanent Participant in the Arctic Council. In Wednesday’s high-level Arctic Council meeting in Haparanda, northern Sweden, the desk under the RAIPON flag remained empty.
The Arctic Council has always been a positive model for multilateral discussions inclusive of indigenous peoples. It is not acceptable that the Russian Indigenous Peoples have been expelled in this way and we must do our utmost to support their inclusion back into the Arctic Council.
We appeal to our respective Foreign and Northern Affairs Ministers, and in particular to Minister Leona Aglukkaq, upcoming Canadian Chair of the Arctic Council, to call upon the Russian government to stop administrative and political pressure and interference into self-governance of indigenous peoples of the North and to encourage a cooperative and mutually respectful dialogue between RAIPON and the Russian Ministry of Justice to resolve this situation.
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada
Hanna E. Marcussen, Harald A. Nissen, Spokespersons for the Norwegian Greens
Ville Niinistö, Leader of Finland’s Green League
Alexey Kozlov, Chairman, Green Alternative Russia
Jill Stein, Presidential candidate 2012 for the Green Party of the United States