Newsletter: The Arctic Without Russia, But With Trump?

ambassadørpanel arctic congress
Ambassadors panel Arctic Congress 2024 with moderator Arne O Holm, Editor/commentator High North News, Maria Varteressian, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, Tarvo Kungla, Deputy Chief of Mission, EU Delegation to Norway, Ambassador Amy Baker, Canadian Ambassador to Norway, Jamal Al-Mussawi, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Norway, Dr. Acquino Vimal, Indian Ambassador to Norway and Ambassador Florence Robine, French Ambassador to Norway. (Photo: Trine Jonassen) (Photo: Trine Jonassen)

Dear reader. This week, the Arctic convened in Bodø, northern Norway, with 1,200 researchers and decision-makers, but without Russia. Must the country's deafening absence be considered permanent? And what is happening with Donald Trump? We have been at the massive Arctic Congress.

With the exception of Russia, the Arctic Congress – a merger of three Arctic conferences – has gathered 1,200 researchers, politicians, and organization representatives in Bodø, Northern Norway, this week. 

The Arctic city is buzzing with life and all the world's languages, but there is a geopolitical backdrop behind the laughter and friendships in the bright summer nights. This characterized many of the discussions. 

Including this week's commentary from Commentator and Editor of High North News, Arne O. Holm: 

Only hours before the US' likely next president was convicted in a historic trial in New York, the Norwegian parliament had opened eight new military bases for American forces and law enforcement. 

The timing is accidental, but the consequences could be dramatic, believes Holm. 

With democracies declining and Donald Trump rising, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Norway is "not that worried at all."

There is still a lot of trust and support for the kind of democracy we do have,” the diplomat told Holm during the traditional Ambassadors Panel at the Arctic Congress, held in Bodø, Northern Norway. 

We keep covering the U.S. Polar Security Cutter program, which continues to face headwinds.

Norway and Denmark have signed a letter of intent on drone cooperation. 

Tourism and Arctic food 

Arctic tourism was part of several discussions during the congress. 

Science journalist Birgitte Martinussen examined the issue more closely, uncovering a fear of ‘Disneyfication’ of Arctic destinations, often at the cost of local people and places’ needs. 

The Northern Norwegian Competence Center for Food wants to promote Arctic food and tells journalist Hilde-Gunn Bye that food is an integral part of Norwegian culture (Norwegian only). 

Also, read this op-ed on the collapse of Western and Russian cooperation.

Finally, we congratulate the former icebreaker commander and American researcher Dr. Lawson Walter Bight on being named High North Hero 2024. 

We will continue to follow the congress throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for more news from the North. 

On behalf of the editorial staff, I wish you a wonderful week. 

Best regards, Editor-in-Chief Trine Jonassen