Newsletter: Our Precious Democracy

Yngve Odlo og Lars Fause ombord Polarsyssel
Governor of Svalbard Lars Fause says there has been a positive development in the work that has been put in since the Commander of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, Lieutenant General Yngve Odlo, visited Svalbard in February last year. (Photo: Command Sergeant Hanne Olafsen/The Norwegian Armed Forces).

Dear reader. The Nordic democracies are under pressure, writes the Editor-in-Chief. The week is otherwise characterized by security policy, with hints of the fisheries and an insight into what happens when Longyearbyen stops coal production on Svalbard.

Norsk versjon 

“The Nordic democracies are under pressure,” writes Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm, pointing at Denmark, Finland, and Sweden´s far-right parties, as well as fatal gang conflicts. 

In Norway, the attacks are coming from the political establishment. 

In Svalbard, the Longyearbyen Local Council has approved the plan from Svalbard Energy to switch from coal to diesel, and the transition takes place this fall. 

Defense-heavy region 

On Wednesday morning, a French nuclear submarine and a support vessel from the French Navy sailed on after a logistics stop in Tromsø, Northern Norway (Norwegian only). 

“Security in the Arctic is of greatest interest to France,” says the French Commander to HNN. 

Close behind follows the US's largest coast guard ship and icebreaker, which will arrive in Tromsø, Northern Norway, at the beginning of October. 

The Indian Army and the US Army are not resting either and recently kicked off their annual joint training exercise. 

Increased intelligence threat 

The intelligence threat from Russia increases, and the Chief of Police in Nordland asks the business sector of Northern Norway to wake up. 

"Russia must turn to intelligence services to a higher degree to gain information from Norway," says Heidi Kløkstad to HNN (Norwegian only). 

Last week, the Commander of The Norwegian Joint Headquarters visited the Governor of Svalbard to show a stronger presence. 

Journalist Astri Edvardsen has interviewed Sàmi Parliament representative Eirik Larsen, who is worried about little contact with Sàmi people on the Russian side after Russia's attack on Ukraine. 

Fishing and shipping 

Journalist Hilde-Gunn Bye has checked on the fishing industry in Northern Norway and reports that there is almost a line to work on the fishing boats of the Nergård fishery group. The situation is the opposite in the fishing industry on land (Norwegian only). 

With increased traffic across the Arctic, the Polar Code rules may have to be expanded, a new report suggests. 

Read about this and more at High North News. Feel free to share the newsletter with other interested parties. 

Wishing you all the best for the weekend on behalf of the editorial staff,

Trine Jonassen, News Editor