Norway joins new Russia sanctions

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide confirmed on Thursday that Norway is attaching itself to new sanctions that the European Union (EU) is imposing against top officials in Russia. It means Norway faces sanctions from Russia in return, but Søreide claims it’s worth the risk.  “We can’t accept that opposition politicians are poisoned with military poison, […]

Hopes high before meeting with Putin

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s alleged spy on trial in Moscow on Tuesday wasn’t the only thorny issue as Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg prepared to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon. Political analysts were hoping for improved relations in general after Solberg landed on Russian soil Monday evening for the first […]

Russia objects to US troops in Norway

Russia’s foreign ministry made it clear Thursday night that it’s not at all in favour of Norway allowing US troops to be stationed at Værnes outside Trondheim. “Norway is choosing American soldiers over economic cooperation with Russia,” a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign minister told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We don’t understand why something like this is […]

PST warns of Russian spy traps

Norway’s police intelligence agency PST is warning “naive Norwegians” against falling into espionage traps allegedly set up by Russian counterparts with the help of vodka and prostitutes. The Russian Embassy in Oslo is calling the warnings “scandalous” and they’re clearly not helping to ease tensions between Norway and Russia. PST nonetheless told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Monday that […]

Russian envoy: ‘Norway is overreacting’

UPDATED: Russia’s ambassador to Norway trooped up to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Monday after being summoned to explain why his country’s deputy prime minister visited Svalbard over the weekend, in violation of the EU’s and Norway’s sanctions against him. Ambassador Vyacheslav Pavlovskiy blamed the incident on “technical” issues and the weather, and called Norway’s objections an […]

Russian defies Norway in Arctic

The Norwegian government has summoned Russia’s ambassador to Norway to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry on Monday, after a high-ranking Russian government official not only defied sanctions by setting foot on Svalbard over the weekend but also reportedly declared that “we will make the Arctic our own.” Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, is a […]

Putin’s ‘oil czar’ visits Norway

He’s been banned from entering the United States, but top Russian oil executive Igor Sechin was in Norway on Thursday for business meetings with Norwegian state oil company Statoil, according to a report in newspaper Aftenposten. Sechin is considered a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and subject to  sanctions imposed by the US against Russia last […]

Solberg’s comments ‘lost in translation’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s staff and Norway’s foreign ministry were fending off reports in Ukraine this week that Norway had “frozen” all contact with Russia. That’s simply not true, claim Norwegian officials, blaming the reports on a mistaken translation of Solberg’s remarks during an interview while in Ukraine last week. Solberg visited Ukraine directly after […]

Northerners cling to open border

As Norwegian and Russian officials gather near their shared border in the northern Norwegian city of Kirkenes this weekend, local residents fervently hope they’ll “break the ice” and improve diplomatic relations. They don’t want anything to damage the good relations they’ve enjoyed for years themselves with their Russian neighbors. King Harald, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Børge […]

Russians visit as tensions rise

NEWS ANALYSIS: While Sweden’s military continued to hunt this week for what many fear could be a Russian submarine in Swedish territorial waters, concerns are rising in Norway over military preparedness in the Arctic. Tensions are high on the eve of a meeting between Norway’s and Russia’s foreign ministers in Norway’s most northern county of Finnmark this […]