Newsletter: The Ukraine Crisis has Consequences in the Arctic

Emilie Enger Mehl på Svalbard
Svalbard Minister Emilie Enger Mehl during their first ministerial meeting in Svalbard. (Photo: Line Nagell Ylvisåker)

Dear High North News reader!
Researchers argue that the crisis about Ukraine will have consequences in the High North whatever direction it takes. More about security politics in this week’s newsletter, along with news from Svalbard and Arctic business.

The second week of the new year has been an eventful one – for better or for worse. As usual, there is a lot going on in the High North, sadly some of it also unwanted.

A potential war between Russia and Ukraine will affect us all, and researchers interviewed by High North News argue that the new Ukraine crisis may have repercussions in the High North too, whether or not the situation escalates.

At the same time, NATO is gearing up for a major exercise in the Arctic.

This winter, some 35,000 soldiers from 25 countries are to participate in the winter exercise Cold Response, the majority of which will take place in Northern Norway.

“This will be the largest exercise under Norwegian leadership conducted in Norway since the 1980s”, says Spokesperson Preben Aursand at the Norwegian Joint Operation Headquarters.

Rich, but poor

It is all about lukewarm hearts in this year’s first commentary from our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm.

Rich may it be; Norway finds itself unable to afford some things – such as welcoming traumatized war victims when they knock on the door.

In Vadsø, this was mainly about children and young people who – if the Center Party were to have its way – would not be allowed to enter Norway at all”, Holm writes.

A submarine, a threat, and a broke cable

On Tuesday, a nuclear-fueled American submarine docked in Tromsø, Norway for supplies. That has sparked both positive and negative reactions.

And on Thursday, the Danish authorities warned against increasing threats from foreign intelligence services.

A breach on one out of two fiberoptic cables connecting Svalbard to the Norwegian mainland means the archipelago does not have any reserve capacity if anything were to happen to the last cable.

Svalbard and business in the Arctic

This week, the Norwegian Ministers of Justice and Trade visited Svalbard. Soon, they are to make important decisions about the future of the archipelago.

This week, it was announced that Store Norske now has become the largest manager of housing estate in Longyearbyen. (Norwegian only).

While in the Russian Arctic, Russian gas producer Novatek continues its cooperation with China.
Thank you for following us into 2022. Feel free to tip us about what goes on in your corner of the world!

Wishing you all the best for the weekend on behalf of the High North News’ editorial staff,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News