Newsletter: The Land of Contrasts

USAs ambassadør til Norge, Marc Nathanson, og Norges forsvarsminister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp) ved signeringen av en reforhandlet tilleggsavtale om forsvarssamarbeid på fredag. Framover skal avtalen sendes på høring, og så behandles i Stortinget. (Foto: Asgeir Spange Brekke/Forsvarsdepartementet)
The US Ambassador to Norway, Marc Nathanson, and Norway's MoD Bjørn Arild Gram (Labor) at the signing of a re-negotiated supplementary defense cooperation agreement last Friday. The agreement will be sent to a hearing before being considered in the Norwegian parliament. (Photo: Asgeir Spange Brekke/the Norwegian Ministry of Defense)

Dear reader.The contrasts in the Arctic are significant. While snow prevents repairs of the Iron Ore Line, scalding hot flows of lava ruin roads and water pipes in Iceland. In the middle of this, Russian gas continues on its path to the world despite sanctions.

The Norwegian Police Security Service has gone from being invisible to very visible. Most recently in Kirkenes on the border with Russia, penned by one of Norway's largest newspapers. 

«That is a good thing," says Editor and Commentator Arne O. Holm. 

But to step out of the dark and into the light sets new demands of "the secret services," Holm writes in this week's commentary. 

Tension between the West and Russia is high, and now Russia threatens to withdraw from the Arctic Council. 

Recently, Norway and the US agreed to expand their defense cooperation agreement to include new agreed areas. 


US sanctions continue to delay the initial gas shipment from Russian gas producer Novatek's Arctic LNG 2 project. 

But despite Western sanctions, the country's LNG exports have increased since 2022. 

Now, Ukraine petitions Norway, the US, and the EU for new sanctions against Russian gas. 

Powerful forces of nature

Wind, snow, and lava create problems for the infrastructure in the North. 

 The opening of traffic on the railway line between Kiruna and Narvik has been postponed numerous times since mid-December. Now, the Swedish Transport Administration is once again delaying the expected date for resumed traffic. High North News is following this matter. 

An eruption started northeast of Sýlingarfell in Iceland after 6 am on Thursday, February 8. This is the third time since December. 

Finally, you can read about the historic event of Telenor opening the world's southernmost base station in Antarctica, which will be operated from the world's northernmost base station on Svalbard.

In High North News, you will also find op-eds and articles on the Sami National DaySami discriminationthe reconciliation process, and much more. (Norwegian only) 

Next week, Arne O. Holm will participate in the culture festival Barents Spektakel, titled "Soft Shields," in Kirkenes. So follow along! 

Wishing you all the best for the week,

Editor in Chief Trine Jonassen