Russia’s controversial smelter at Nikel, just over the border southeast of Kirkenes, has been a bone of contention for years. It’s been belching up more air pollution than ever this summer, and the local mayor is fed up.
“Pollution from Nikel must stop,” Kirkenes Mayor Rune Rafaelsen told The Independent Barents Observer earlier this month. Now he has sent a letter to Norway’s government minister for climate and the environment, Vidar Helgesen, suggesting they both travel to Moscow in an effort to solve the problem.
“Norway’s biggest environmental problem is here in the border area,” Rafaelsen said. He believes it’s time to take the nagging issue back up with Russian authorities who are responsible for sending fumes and clouds of pollutants over the border into Norway’s rural and scenic Pasvik Valley.
For more on the story and more photos, click here, to The Independent Barents Observer.