In this paper we pose the question where the source regions of the aerosol which occurs in the European Arctic are located. Long-term aerosol optical depth (AOD) data from Ny-Alesund and Sodankylä as well as short data from a campaign on a Russian drifting station were analysed by air backtrajectories, analysis of the general circulation pattern and a correlation to chemical composition from in-situ measurements. Surprisingly our data clearly shows that direct transport of pollutants from Europe does not play an important role. Instead, Arctic haze in Ny-AAlesund has been found for air masses from the Eastern Arctic, while events with increased AOD but chemically more diverse composition have been found for air from Siberia or the central Arctic. Moreover, the AOD in Ny-AAlesund does not depend on the North Atlantic Oszillation (NAO). Hence, either the pollution pathways of aerosol are more complex or aerosol is significantly altered by clouds.