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 […]

Sami question the pace of their progress

NEWS ANALYSIS: Sami peoples were gathering in Trondheim this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nordic countries’ indigenous peoples’ first showing of national political solidarity. Their most troublesome issues in Norway remain the same, however, and that has raised questions over how much or how little progress has been made since February 6, 1917. “We want to […]

Turmoil rules at Sami Parliament

Norway’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) is in the midst of high-level political turmoil. The Labour Party politician who took over as president just before Christmas wound up at the center of a major power struggle within her own party, and is now clinging to her post by leaving Labour and firing Labour’s vice-president who was due to succeed her. […]

Severe storm hits Finnmark, again

The residents of Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark are having a rough winter. Bad weather also bore down on other northern counties on Wednesday, leading to closed roads and structural damage because of snow and strong winds. Many key roads and highways were closed in Finnmark Wednesday morning including the main E6 highway over Finnmarksvidda between Alta and […]

Solberg faces more opposition over the Arctic

Business, political and environmental leaders gathered in Tromsø this week, along with indigenous peoples and researchers, for the annual Arctic Frontiers conference. It was opened by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who later encountered opposition from those who don’t think her own Arctic policies are sustainable. Solberg believes it’s possible to “find a balance” between protecting […]

‘Game over’ for Norway’s seal hunt

Norway’s northern city of Tromsø used to be a major port for Norway’s controversial seal hunters, but they’ve now faded into the history books. For the first time in several hundred years, not a single Norwegian boat is heading out to hunt seals this season, and proponents of the hunt now blame climate change. “It’s over. Game over. […]

New Sami president didn’t speak Sami

For the first time ever, the president of the Sami Parliament (Sametinget) in Norway could not and did not deliver the president’s annual New Year’s Day speech in the Sami language. Vibeke Larsen of the Labour Party, who assumed her post just before the holidays in what some call a political coup, ended up turning her lack of language proficiency […]

Mining company allowed to dump in local fjord

Despite protests from the Sami Parliament and several environmental organizations, Norway’s government ministry in charge of climate and environmental issues has allowed a mining company in Northern Norway to operate and dump tailings into a local fjord. Nussir ASA thus won a green light to mine copper at Nussir and Ulveryggen in Kvalsund, Finnmark County. […]

More oil exploration sparks objections

Just a week after the Norwegian government finally secured what it calls “the greenest budget” in history, Oil Minister Tord Lien was moving forward with expansion of oil activity in the Arctic. Environmentalists were moving just as quickly to try to stop it, claiming that the oil industry seems to have won exemptions from the carbon emission […]

Finnmark clobbered by winter storm

Nearly 30 roads were closed in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark on Friday and police were urging residents against trying to drive anywhere. Strong winds, poor visibility, landslides and extremely slippery conditions made travel hazardous. Even the police themselves were reluctant to attempt any. “We’re letting the cars stay parked when conditions call for it,” Bjørn […]