Newsletter: More North in the South

Dag Rune Olsen, Andreas Østhagen, Eirik Kristoffersen og Anniken Huitfeldt
From left: UiT rector Dag Rune Olsen, senior researcher at Fridtjof Nansen's Institute Andreas Østhagen, Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen and Foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Ap) were among those gathered around a bonfire in Lavvoen during Arendal Week. (Photo: Hilde-Gunn Bye).

Dear reader; during this year’s meeting place south in Norway the interest in the High North seems to be stronger than previous years. The crises which are piling up might be forcing the gaze north and High North News has covered both the climate- and security crisis, paired with the difficult environment for cooperation in the North.

This week, High North News is, together with what seems to be the entirety of Norway’s politicians, scientists, organizations and media, at the Arendal week, which is an annual meeting place in the south of Norway for debates and discussion on current topics. 

Yours truly has participated for some years, and the difference in the number of debates regarding the High North from five years ago and seems substantial. 

It seems that the interest for what is happening in our part of the world is growing considerably, something which can be appointed to the security situtation on the border to Russia in Finnmark, North Norway, the energy- and the climate crisis. 

The common denominator for the increased interest seems to be what are termed crisis situations. 

This week, HNN has shed light on some of these. 

No threat, but...

Our journalist, Hilde-Gunn Bye, met Norway’s Chief of Defence Eirik Kristoffersen, who says that there are many indicators that Russia sees the High North as stable, and that there are no present threaths here. 

Nevertheless, the meeting activity level among Nordic leaders is high. 

Recently the Nordic Prime Ministers met in Oslo, Norway and says that they want an even closer cooperation regarding defence and security. 

Too naïve?

Has the West been too naïve their relationship with Russia? 

Yes, say a group of Norwegian editors who thinks that the West have not realized that what followed the fall of the wall was an exception as far as Russia was concerned. 

They are now working on keeping channels of knowledge and information open towards the new iron curtain. 

Also, read Astri Edvardsens interview with Astrid Fadnes who continues to work with independent artists in Russia: 

"This connection through art provides hope on both sides. Both for individuals and for the future," says Fadnes. 

This and more can be read at High North News. Feel free to let us know what you would like to read more about.

On behalf of the editorial staff, I wish you a good weekend,

Trine Jonassen, News Editor 

Translation from Norwegian by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen