Newsletter: Political geriatrics and increased security

A female majority among the Nordic Prime Ministers: (from left) Sweden's Magdalena Andersson (S), Finland's Sanna Marin (SDP), Norway's Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap), Denmark's Mette Frederiksen (S) and Iceland's Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Left-Green Movement). (Photo: Roger Holmsen/The Office of the Prime Minister, Norway)

Dear reader; A dancing prime minister and NATO’s stepping up in the High North have influenced the headlines this week. Here is this week’s newsletter from High North News.

All it took was a dancing female prime minister to set aside both war, NATO applications and an energy crisis. This week, Finland’s Sanna Marin has been the center of attention, something that prompted Editor-in-chief Arne O. Holm to react: 

“The world is not threatened by dancing prime ministers. Barely by female heads of government. The threat arises from aging men, excited and inspired only by their own mirror image,” says Holm in this fall’s first commentary. 

NATO is stepping up

 NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting the Canadian Arctic this week, where heavy investments in air defense systems are now being made to strengthen NATO’s northern and western flanks. 

Stoltenberg writes in an Op-Ed that NATO is stepping up the security in the High North: 

“Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine shows that we cannot take our security for granted – anywhere. NATO has responded with unity and resolve, determined to support Ukraine and keep our 1 billion people safe – everywhere”, says Stoltenberg. 

This week, the Swedish Armed Forces is carrying out a readiness check of the forces’ ability to quickly relocate northwards and solve combat tasks there. The exercise involves around 700 soldiers from different entities. 

The difficult cooperation

 We have talked to NRK’s experienced Russia correspondent Gro Holm, who at the end of the month embarks on three new years as correspondent in Moscow, almost 30 years after she last worked there. 

She warns against banning Russian fishing vessels from Norwegian ports and says it would be the nail in the coffin for the bilateral cooperation with Russia. 

The Norwegian government says it is important to maintain the expertise on Russia and the Norwegian Barents Secretariat is therefore allowed to continue working on many Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects. 

Our journalist Astri Edvardsen has spoken to Marit Jacobsen in the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, who talks about how the work lives on thanks to enthusiasts and the supports of the secretariat.

The climate crisis 

It is not only the ice that is disappearing in the Arctic while the war in Ukraine rages on. Climate scientists also believe that knowledge will be lost if it is not shared and protected. 

«The research suffers and it will take time to recover,” says the Secretary General of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research, Thor S. Larsen, to High North News. 

Also, do not miss this op-ed about the need for green shipping in the High North. 

Please let us know what you would like to read more about and send it here: If you have anything else on your mind, feel free share. 

Wishing you a good weekend on behalf of the editorial staff,

Trine Jonassen, News Editor

Translated from Norwegian by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen