Dear reader; Europe continues to restrict Russians and Norway is putting itself first. It is damaging to Norway’s moral compass, believes Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm. Presumed sabotage after the gas leak in the Baltic Sea increases preparedness in the North and brings forth speculations around NATO's Article 5.
The gas leaks from Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Baltic Sea have dominated the news this week. Experts do not reject that what is assumed to be sabotage could shed new light on two recent incidents in the Arctic where two communication cables were cut.
The preparedness in the North is undoubtedly strengthened, especially after the traffic from Russia increased as a result of Putin’s escalation of the war.
The traffic across the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog is steadily increasing, but it is far from the amount before the pandemic, says Chief of Police Ellen Katrine Hætta in Finnmark, Northern Norway.
Going forward, it will be even more difficult for Russians to apply for a visa to Norway, while more will want to flee.
The external perspective on Norway reveals an idealized image starting to show its flaws – more specifically in Washington DC – where the damages to Norway’s moral compass are noticed;
“We are closing the borders to Russian conscientious objectors. We are refusing to share the war profits with anyone but ourselves. And on Svalbard, we have deprived foreigners of their right to vote," says Holm.
Military exercises in the North are still many and close together. Most recently in Northern Sweden, by the Swedish Armed Forces, together with US special forces.
Considerable investments are to be made in upgrades on Svalbard, both on the Norwegian and the Russian side.
The infrastructure in the Russian settlements Barentsburg and Pyramiden is to be modernized. The investment framework is estimated at around NOK 300 million.
High winds pummeled northeast Iceland over the weekend, especially on Sunday, with extensive damage done to buildings and cars. No serious injuries have been reported.
That was the week as seen from the North. Feel free to share the newsletter with others and let us know what is on your mind. We welcome news tips, opinion articles, and feedback with pleasure. You can reach us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
With wishes of a good weekend on behalf of the editorial staff,
News Editor, Trine Jonassen
This newsletter has been translated by HNN's Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen