Newsletter: The Latest News from the High North

Storskog asyl
After the recent collapse in Afghanistan, the scare images from the refugee flow across the northern border from Russia to Norway are brought back. (Archive photo: Amund Trellevik).  

Dear High North News reader! While Arctic summits line up and business is booming, a tragedy is played out in Afghanistan that revives memories about the refugee crisis in the High North six years ago.

In his Friday commentary this week, our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm reminds us of our privileged society’s responsibility for people in need.

Because while the Afghan society is collapsing, images from an unwanted flow of refugees is revived on our retina. Newspaper archives dig out images of refugees on bicycles crossing the border from Russia to Norway at Storskog border crossing.

First we bomb them to pieces. Then we build walls to keep us in and them out. I feel the branch I am sitting on swaying perilously”, Holm writes.

A thought it is important to keep in mind in the days and months ahead.

Bottleneck and investments

There are reports about record-high sales of salmon and a great demand. However, for North Norwegian companies, finding transport to bring the fish south to the market is currently quite challenging. (Norwegian only)

“I believe we will see more of this in the time ahead”, says Jan Robert Røli-Gjervik of Polar Quality.

A new report shows that American companies operating in Russia made accumulated investments for USD 2 billion in 2020.

And this week, Equinor and Rosneft signed a cooperation agreement about carbon management.

Summits lined up

The Arctic is considered a strategic region of increased geographical-political and global significance.

Therefore, military leaders from several North European countries and the USA met in Finland this week to discuss the regional security environment and challenges existing there.

And in Norway, the Chief of the Joint [Military] Headquarters met with the Chief of the Russian border guard in Kirkenes.

We also bring the story about how Norway, Sweden and Denmark are reinforcing their defense cooperation, and that the White House reportedly has increased focus on Arctic policies.

Preparedness in Arctic waters

The sea ice is melting, tourism in the Arctic is increasing and with that, the need for preparedness. So picture this:

A cruise vessel with more than 200 people onboard shipwrecks far north of Svalbard. There are no roads, cabins or any other infrastructure nearby, and saving as many lives as possible as fast as possible is a matter of urgency.

That is the scenario of a full-scale exercise off the coast of Svalbard. High North News will follow the exercise later in October.

We also bring you debate, notices and a whole lot more at High North News.

We on the editorial staff thank you for following. Feel free to share our newsletter with others who have an interest in news from the north!

The News Editor of High North News wishes you all the best for this first October weekend!
Trine Jonassen