Newsletter: Important Meetings between Big Arctic Powers

Bilateral meeting between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the United States, Joe Biden
Bilateral meeting between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the United States, Joe Biden. (Photo: NATO)

This week has been characterized by summits focusing on security, nuclear power, and China’s role in the Arctic. Yet there has also been time for a meeting with ordinary people working tirelessly in the shadow of the pandemic.

The atmosphere appeared to be good when the two big power presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin met in Geneva this week. During the meeting, they stressed the need for cooperation in the Arctic.

I told our colleagues that I see no cause for worry here. On the contrary, I am deeply convinced that we can and should cooperate”, Putin said.

In relation to the meeting, US President Biden’s National Security Advisor said the Arctic is an area in which the US would have an interest in cooperating with Russia.

“A historic manifestation”

The summit is also the theme of our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm’s Friday commentary:

Arne O. Holm og bobilen. (Foto: Martin Losvik)
Arne O. Holm og bobilen. (Foto: Martin Losvik)
Arne O. Holm has parked the camper. (Photo: Martin Losvik).

The meeting between the leaders of the two powerful states, the USA and Russia, stands out in most ways from former political summits between the East and the West”, Holm argues and says the meeting is a historic manifestation of the significance of cooperation between Arctic states. 

There have also been other significant meetings during the past week.

On Wednesday, the 24th meeting of the Norwegian-Russian commission on nuclear power and radiation took place. This year, that coopeation celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Violations and a new strategy

The NATO summit in Brussels, where China, Russia and the NATO 2030 strategy received widespread attention, also took place this week.

Dr Elizabeth Buchanan
Dr Elizabeth Buchanan´s areas of expertise are Russian foreign energy strategy, critical infrastructure security and polar geopolitics. (Photo: Australian National University)
Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan at Deakin University, Australia. (Photo: Australian National University)

High North News spoke to Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan at Deakin University, Australia, who says expectations about NATO’s covering the Arctic is a rather new thing.

On Monday, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod summoned the Russian ambassador to a meeting following Russian fighter planes’ violating Danish airspace twice in a day. Kofod refers to the violation as inacceptable.

In recent years, a series of countries have launched their new strategies and policies for the Arctic. The latest country to do so was Finland, where the government Thursday adopted a new Arctic strategy that is to be in place until 2030.

The main priorities of the new Finnish Arctic strategy is climate change mitigation and adaptation. (Norwegian only)

Speaking of the climate;

Last week, the Russian service vessel Serebryanka delivered the final bundles of spent nuclear fuel from the floating maintenance base Lepse to an Atomflot storage in Murmansk. This was the final step in security nuclear waste from Lepse.

The High North Tour bids farewell – for now

The High North Tour 2021 entered into its final phase this week. This means that our editor-in-chief has parked his mobile office for now. But we are not quite through yet, so we introduce you to a group of people in the shadow of the pandemic who would not even imagine moving south to find a job, and who really believe in a future in the Hign North.

In the shadow of the pandemic – part 1 and In the shadow of the pandemic – part 2.

Thank you for following, and feel free to tip us about what you want to read more about.
Kind regards,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News