‘Hush-hush’ radar raises concerns

As the US sends more defense resources into the Norwegian Arctic, some projects are raising concerns. Many Norwegians in Northern Norway don’t want to provoke Russia, while a new radar system in Vardø that’s been shrouded in secrecy is making some local residents nervous. “Vardø residents are worried about the danger of radiation, and that it (the planned radar […]

Norway ready for spying of its own

The Norwegian defense department’s brand new surveillance vessel, dubbed in local media as the country’s “spy ship,” is taking over intelligence-gathering duties this year at a time of renewed tensions with Russia. Some experts on Russian relations warn the ship may provoke Russian officials, just when cooperation is needed on a wide range of issues including […]

US wants more military in Norway

US officials want to boost their military presence in Northern Norway, at a time of rising tensions with bordering Russia. Their Norwegian counterparts appear to be rolling out the welcome mat but opposition politicians want to roll it back up, calling more US military presence in the Norwegian Arctic “an unnecessary provocation.” “Opening up for more American […]

Solberg rejects Russian ‘rhetoric’

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has forcefully rejected what she called “Cold War rhetoric” from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over the weekend. Just hours after leaving an international security conference in Munich, she blamed Russia for stirring up rising tensions between Russia and many other countries over the past two years. “It was Russia that […]

NATO to help fight ‘illegal migration’

UPDATED: Norway, most concerned with securing NATO’s help in protecting Arctic areas, appeared skeptical this week towards efforts aimed at drawing NATO into the refugee crisis. NATO ministers and its Norwegian secretary general Jens Stoltenberg nonetheless agreed on Thursday to help fight illegal trafficking and migration in the Aegean. Stoltenberg stressed that the mission “is not about stopping or […]

Norway objects to journalist’s ouster

Turkey, through its membership in NATO, has traditionally been viewed as a close ally of Norway but relations between the two countries are strained in the areas of human rights and freedom of the press. Turkey’s recent refusal to allow a correspondent for Norway’s largest newspaper to work in the country is now being widely condemned […]

Norway blasted over UN nuclear vote

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende was roundly criticized this week after his delegation at the United Nations refused to vote on two UN resolutions against nuclear weapons and voted against a third. Opposition politicians and anti-nuclear activists were disappointed, but not surprised. “I think Norway voted wrongly,” declared Bård Vegar Solhjell, a Member of Parliament and […]

NATO boss back home in Norway

Jens Stoltenberg was briefly back home in Norway this week, right when he could celebrate his first year as NATO’s secretary general. He’s busier than ever and the world seems a grimmer place, given the escalation of the civil war in Syria and Russia’s unwelcome interventions, but the man who ranks as perhaps Norway’s most popular prime […]

More politicians question Norway’s Libya involvement

Leaders of the small parties represented in Parliament are increasingly questioning whether it was right for Norway to take such an active role in NATO’s military attacks on Libya in 2011. Two of the parties even sat in Norway’s Labour-led government at the time, but with Libya now in chaos, they’re grappling with regrets. The […]

Stoltenberg leaves with more support

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg left Norway after last week’s visit to his homeland with promises of bigger defense budgets, more personnel and maybe even a contribution to NATO’s missile defense. It’s all estimated to cost Norway at least an extra NOK 17 billion (USD 2.2 billion) per year. He ended his visit with a working lunch […]