In light of escalating geopolitical concerns with China and Russia, two other significant powers in the region, the Biden administration has announced intentions to create a new ambassador-at-large position to represent the Arctic region.
“To further American interests and cooperation with Allies and partners in the Arctic, and after extensive consultations with Members of Congress, local and federal government officials, and external stakeholders, 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,” On Friday, the State Department stated in a news statement.
It stated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken considers a stable and prosperous Arctic area to be of crucial strategic importance to the United States.
According to the State Department, creating the new post was made possible in part by the fight against climate change.
According to the administration’s letter, the new ambassador’s responsibilities will include advancing US policy in the area and cooperating with indigenous communities and counterparts in nations both Arctic and non-Arctic.
“We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the Congress to swiftly confirm the Ambassador-at-Large, once a nomination is sent to the Senate,” the statement said further.
The new approach comes at a time when China has positioned itself as a “near-Arctic state” as it increases its grip in the area and Russia is assertively asserting claims of new sea lanes that have emerged in the Arctic as a result of melting ice.
An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the White House.