Berg seeks pardon as spy swap looms

Frode Berg, the former Norwegian border inspector convicted of espionage in Russia, has formally applied for a pardon. The move is believed to be part of a complicated deal to swap Berg and two convicted Lithuanian spies jailed in Russia for at least one Russian spy jailed in Lithuania. Berg’s Russian defense attorney Ilja Novikov […]

Alternatives sought for EU agreement

Norway’s 25-year-old trade and policy pact with the EU survived yet another round of attacks from labour unions this week. The so-called EØS/EEA agreement remains subject, however, to a search for alternatives to it, through a compromise that came only after Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre was roundly scolded over his support for the deal. […]

Government drops state windmill plan

Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s conservative coalition is scrapping a new national wind energy plan that identified specific areas as best-suited for windmills. It proved to be highly controversial, prompting Solberg to back down after massive criticism that huge wind turbines can ruin scenic wilderness and that local objections could be overruled. “This was supposed to be […]

Norway grabs the literary spotlight

Norway’s biggest and most expensive promotional event ever was finally playing out in Frankfurt this week, after months of preparation. The country has spent tens of millions of kroner to be the so-called “guest of honour” at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and was clearly relishing the literary and cultural spotlight. “The Book Fair in Frankfurt […]

Solberg to Turkey: ‘Stop the fighting’

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg got tougher against Turkey on Tuesday, after a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Solberg said Norway now joins both Germany and the EU “in condemning Turkey’s military operations in Syria,” as fears rose that Turkey is creating huge problems for all three countries’ collective defense through NATO. […]

‘Shoot more whales’ despite low demand

The fisheries policy spokesman for Norway’s Progress Party, which holds political control of the state fisheries ministry, is calling for more whale- and seal hunting. Bengt Rune Strifeldt claims that Norway must harvest “the entire food chain in the seas,” even though a new survey shows a major decline in consumption of whale meat. “Strong international […]

Stoltenberg denies support for invasion

It wasn’t easy to get “yes” or “no” answers out of him, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did tell Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Friday that NATO has not supported member nation Turkey in its “military operation” in Kurdish areas of Northern Syria. Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, repeated that he has “serious concerns […]

Solberg heckled by climate demonstrators

When Prime Minister Erna Solberg formally re-opened the Museum of Natural History in Bergen on Monday, demonstrators were on hand to protest her government’s climate and environmental policy. They held signs shaped like gravestones and featuring extinct and threatened birds, plants and animals. Police kept the demonstrators from the international organization Extinction Rebellion at bay […]

Norway can pay to avoid climate cuts

A loophole in Norway’s agreement with the EU to cut Norwegian carbon emissions will once again allow the country made wealthy by its oil industry to pay other countries to cut their emissions instead. Some government politicians are already talking about financing emissions cuts in poor Eastern European countries, so that Norway’s oil industry can […]

No more military exports to Turkey

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide finally responded to repeated demands that the Norwegian government take a stand against Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria earlier this week. She said late Thursday that her ministry was indefinitely suspending review of all new applications for export licenses of defense material to Turkey, but stopped short of condemning […]