Newsletter: The Good Neighbor

Støre Jarfjod
PM Jonas Gahr Støre at the Jarfjord Border Station. (Photo: Arne O. Holm)

Dear reader. Norway's prime minister is primarily concerned with being a predictable neighbor to a belligerent Russia, which, on its part, is withdrawing funding for the Arctic Council. On top of this, Russia continues to pump Arctic gas into Europe. Here is the week that passed in the North.

Les på norsk

This week, Journalist Hilde-Gunn Bye and Editor Arne O. Holm participated in the Kirkenes Conference close to Norway's border with Russia. 

The geopolitical situation in the High North and changed border-crossing conditions were topics found throughout the Conference, which the Norwegian Prime Minister opened. 

"I am concerned with us sticking to deterrence and reassurance," said the PM. 

At the same time, Russia's relationship with the West is worsening.

Russia suspends payments to the Arctic Council until it resumes "full-fledged work." 

"We have recently sent out a proposal for new guidelines," states the Norwegian chairship. 

At the same time, European countries continue to buy more than half of Russia's gas production despite sanctions. Norway also keeps expanding its LNG portfolio, including to destinations outside the EU. 

Researcher Eda Ayaydin highlights three critical fractions in the interactions between Russia and Norway. 

Arne O. Holm used his stay in Eastern Finnmark to follow the Norwegian Prime Minister on his journey between political meetings, speeches, and the Norwegian front line. This is Støre's fifth visit to Northern Norway since the New Year. 

"That is no coincidence," believes Holm in a commentary from the border area. 

Lastly, some Svalbard news 

The Longyearbyen Community Council is processing new recommendations for transport and logistics on Svalbard. 

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Wishing you all the best for the weekend on behalf of the editorial staff, 

Editor-in-Chief Trine Jonassen