Newsletter: The past week has once again been characterised by the international development of the Arctic

Yamal LNG
Yamal LNG facility and Port of Sabetta in 2016. (Source: Google Earth)  

Dear High North News reader! 

For us in High North News, the past week has once again been characterised by the international development of the High North and the Arctic. We offer a thorough and well-documented analysis of Russia’s build-up in the Arctic.

Through meticulous comparison of satellite images from northern Russia over time, we document the speed with which Russia develops its High North in terms of security policy and industrial development. We also analyze why this is happening and what significance it may hold both nationally and internationally. Journalist Malte Humpert has worked on this project for months.

Furthermore, we offer more to read about the relationship between Russia and Norway. The outspoken Police Chief of Finnmark County (Norway), Ellen Katrine Hætta, in a podcast from the Barents Secretariat analyses just that.

Hætta argues that it is important and necessary to understand Russia’s situation in the relationship to the Crimea at the time of the 2014 crisis.

- Because they [Russia] had no other options. If they were to still control the Crimea and their bases there, it was simply a necessity. One has to understand it, though one does not have to accept it, she says in a long interview.

Meanwhile, China continues its acquisitions in Russia, this time through acquiring a major share of Novatek’s Arctic initiative.

The week was also characterized by the upcoming Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting.  In a series of articles we point out how climate disagreement between the USA and the other Arctic states threatens this vital cooperation. It may hit the Arctic Council hard right at the core of its efforts to save the climate.

According to a Washington Post article, the Trump administration has tried to remove all references to climate negotiations and the Paris Accord in the joint declaration that is to be agreed upon next week prior to the Ministerial Meeting. By Monday or Tuesday we will find out whether or not the USA has succeeded – and High North News is obviously present in Rovaniemi, where the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting is to take place.

Have a great weekend!
Arne O. Holm
Editor-in-Chief, High North News