Newsletter: Area Conflicts, India in the Arctic, and A Potential War

Jonas Gahr Støre
"The fact that war and confrontation once again are possible on our continent is simply discouraging. However, it might happen”, said Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre at his Christmas press conference. (Archive photo: David Jensen/UiT)

Dear Reader, we look at the core of the conflict on the coast off the North Norwegian island of Andøya. And if we look east, India is approaching the Arctic step by step – and we are not talking about the heat that is spreading in the Arctic. As if that were not enough, Norway’s PM now warns about war in Europe.

In a few days it will be Christmas. And Christmas it shall be, even though the pandemic is still ravaging, electricity prices are high, and heat records are reported for the Arctic.

It can always get worse, at least according to the Norwegian prime minister.

When Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre finished his Christmas press conference warning about a potential war in Europe, our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm had to check again to see if he had heard him right.

He had.

Upon hearing his speech once more, I realized I had heard him right, that the Norwegian PM, a former foreign minister, prepared us of a potential war in Europe”, Holm writes in this Friday’s commentary.

Area conflict

This week, we have taken a closer look at the infectious area conflict between fishers off the coast of Andøya island in Northern Norway and the local Andøya Space.

The fishers argue that Andøya Space’s activities increasingly challenge the fish industry off the island’s coast and have opted out from conversations that they argue lead nowhere.

Yet things go well in the North, too. Today brought the news that the Norwegian government puts almost NOK 0.5 billion into a hydrogen project in Finnmark.

India in the Arctic

India’s interest in the Arctic has gone under the radar for many, though High North News has been monitoring the development, not least when it comes to the country’s collaboration with Russia.

“Far from the Arctic geographically, India has inserted itself into the High North to ascertain global reach and international standing", says Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan in an exclusive High North News interview.

Nor is there any doubt that Russia keeps up its Northern initiative.

Preserving cultural heritage

Soon, only memories will remain of what was once an active mining community in Svea, Svalbard.

However, before liquidation started, Store Norske and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research secured documentation that is to be offered to the public in the form of a virtual reconstruction of the historic Svalbard mines.

We can hardly wait to see their finished product.

We also take the opportunity to congratulate former Sami Parliament president Aili Keskitalo (53) on her new role as Chair of Bodø 2024 – European Capital of Culture. (Norwegian only)

Heat record and good talks

Rain rather than snow may possibly be the new ‘normal’ in the High North. At least it is worrying to read that a new Arctic heat record has been set, a record no one really wants.

Arctic state leaders report of good talks.

The Russian President and his Finnish counterpart have had talks about the important cooperation between the two neighbors, in particular in the Arctic.

The High North is an area becoming increasingly important for Great Britain too, according to Defense Minister Ben Wallace.

This and a whole lot more you can read about at High North News.

Now that we are about to enter the final Advent weekend, we do so with a wish for peace and good talks. One can always hope.

Advent greetings from
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News

This newsletter was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.