Newsletter: Failed Battery Venture and Closed Borders

On Tuesday, Finland's Minister of the Interior Mari Rantaned (pictured) and Prime Minister Petteri Orpo announced that the entire eastern border to Russia will be closed. (Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/the Finnish Government)

Dear reader. On Thursday, Finland closed the last open border station to Russia. Whether Norway does the same remains to be seen. Freyr Battery is the subject of the Editor-in-Chief's pondering, and Norway's northernmost settlement has gotten mobile coverage. We also have cultural news and current op-eds. Here is the week as seen from the North.

This week, the news broke on Freyr Battery laying off 78 employees, ten of them working in Northern Norway.

“What have the shareholders in Freyr Battery not understood since the share price is sinking like a stone, while the chairman, CEO, local newspaper editor, and a knowledge park believe everything to be well and good?” asks Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm in this week’s commentary. 

A Swedish mineral fertilizer producer also prioritizes the U.S. over its home country  

Do not miss the Norwegian Seafood Federation's response to last week's commentary from the Editor-in-Chief: 

"Arne O. Holm cuts us where it hurts. It deserves an honest and genuine response." (Norwegian only) 

From Sweden, there is news of Swedish mineral company Grangex buying Sydvaranger Mining in Nothern Norway.

Security in the North 

Finland closed the last open border crossing point to Russia as of Thursday. Norway is prepared to close the border at Storskog "if necessary." 

At the same time, a Norwegian navy exercise is being conducted off the coast of Northern Norway, in which Denmark is also participating (Norwegian only).

Researchers say that India could be a key strategic partner for the U.S. in its efforts to protect the Arctic, which is currently threatened by Russia's increased commercial and military presence. 

And the British House of Lords believes England must be prepared for scenarios where the region becomes more contested and subject to conflict (Norwegian only). 

Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard was the last Norwegian settlement without mobile coverage. Now, this small community is also connected. 

We conclude with cultural news and report that Tromsø in Northern Norway will be the first European Youth Capital in the Arctic. 

Read about this and more in High North News. 

Feel free to send us tips at 

On behalf of the editorial staff, I wish you a peaceful Advent weekend, 

Sincerely, News Editor Trine Jonassen