Norway’s big week on the continent

NEWS ANALYSIS: Top Norwegian officials have been busy on the European continent this week, and happy to be able to take part in a flurry of meetings at NATO in Brussels, the G20 in Bonn and the Munich Security Conference. At a time of uncertainty and even fear following the inauguration of US President Donald […]

The Russian Embassy in Oslo calls its relations with Norway ‘unsatisfactory’

UPDATED: Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende claimed on Thursday that he’d had “a useful conversation” with his Russian counterpart, Sergej Lavrov, at the G20 summit in Bonn. On Friday, the Russian Embassy in Oslo sent out a very different message, claiming in a “comment” published on social media that Russia’s “bilateral relation” with Norway is “unsatisfactory” and “not […]

Bank boss had to alter annual address

Norway’s central bank boss Øystein Olsen had to make some last-minute changes in his important annual address on the economy Thursday evening. Just hours before he took the podium, government leaders announced they were finally going along with something he’s recommended for years: putting new limits on the use of Norway’s oil revenues. Olsen, governor of […]

Government reins in Oil Fund use

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen, who have transferred more money from Norway’s Oil Fund to the state budget than any of their predecessors, now propose tying such withdrawals in the future to “more realistic,” and lower, expected returns. That can further limit the use of Norway’s oil revenues, and they also want to […]

‘The People’ won in mock trial over Arctic oil

Just days before a landmark legal challenge to oil activity in Norway’s Arctic won a date in court, a mock trial on the controversial issue was carried out during an annual cultural event in the northern Norwegian city of Kirkenes. After three days of staged court hearings, the people wanting to halt Arctic oil activity won […]

Arctic drilling suit heads for court

UPDATED: Environmental organizations Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) have won a court date for Norway’s first climate case, aimed at halting oil drilling and production in the Norwegian Arctic. Their breakthrough comes just after three oil companies announced their discovery of large oil and gas deposits in the Barents Sea and the government’s […]

Norway and Russia friendly up north

Despite lots of tough official language and rising tensions lately, Norwegians and Russians continue to get along well in the northern area around their shared border. That was confirmed last week at the annual Kirkenes Conference and Barents Spectacle, two events that continue to cement strong ties and nurture good relations. Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende […]

New national park plans stalled in Parliament

Plans to create two new national parks, one in the hills and forests just east of Oslo called Østmarka, have been voted down by a majority on the Parliament’s energy and environmental committee. Proponents, however, claim they’re not giving up on the projects. Newspaper Dagsavisen reported during the weekend that the two government parties (the […]

Utøya memorial conflict far from over

A court-bound conflict over construction of a memorial to victims of the massacre on the island of Utøya on July 22, 2011 remains deadlocked, mostly, it seems because of poor communication among all those involved. An attempt at compromise was lost just before the weekend, because those living near a potential memorial site were once again left out of the […]

Trump tactics take root in Norway

Norway’s small Center Party, led by the often-grinning farmer Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, is soaring in public opinion polls on what many claim are new populist tactics likened to those of US President Donald Trump. On Friday one of Vedum’s top party colleagues even resorted to claiming that “nationalism” can be healthy, and the party’s rising voter popularity may usher in a […]