Russia won’t let Hurtigruten sail

Russian authorities have spoiled some exclusive Arctic cruise plans for passengers on board one of the Norwegian shipping line Hurtigruten‘s newest vessels, the MS Spitsbergen. After initially seeming to welcome more cruise traffic in Russian waters, the Russians have suddenly denied the vessel entry. “We’d had a good dialogue with Russian authorities for a long […]

Russian exercises illustrate tension

Norwegian and NATO forces claim to be keeping a close eye this week on Russian military forces, which launched some of their largest military exercises yet on Wednesday. The exercises, taking place in four locations off Norway’s northwest coast, are widely viewed as a direct response to all the recent NATO, Norwegian and US military exercises […]

Russia posts missiles near the border

Russian officials have disclosed that they’ve moved a coastal missile system to a new location on Russia’s Sredny Peninsula in the far north. The new location is so close to Norway that it can be seen on clear days from Vardø, the northeastern Norwegian town that’s also home to a controversial radar and surveillance system […]

Norway braced for Russian exercises

The Russian Navy is expected to launch “unusually high activity” off the coast of Northern Norway next week, after announcing more military training exercises in the Norwegian Sea. Three US surveillance aircraft have joined Norway in efforts to keep an eye on the Russians. “A large number of naval vessels are on their way from […]

White whale ‘can do as he likes’

Norwegian fisheries officials have decided to let a tame white whale,  which recently sought contact with local fishing boats, just swim and frolic in the waters off Norway’s northern city of Hammerfest. They want to wait and see whether the now internationally famous beluga whale can manage on his own. “What’s happening now is basically […]

Norwegian defense ‘has been weakened’

Only their smiles were perhaps surprising when Norway’s defense chief, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, presented his annual report to Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen this week. It came as no surprise when the former submarine commander had to admit that Norway’s defense was weakened by last autumn’s frigate collision, just as Russian sabre-rattling has worsened security. “The […]

Russia sentences Berg to 14 years in jail

A Russian court in Moscow found retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg guilty of espionage on Tuesday, and sentenced him to the full 14-year prison term requested by Russian government prosecutors. Berg has opted against filing an appeal, in the hopes Norwegian authorities will find a way to bring him home. The sentence was harsher […]

‘Foundation laid for more cooperation’

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg described her meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday as “good,” adding that it laid a foundation for further cooperation. Putin claimed he wanted to “focus on the positive” aspects of relations between the two countries that share a border in the far north. “We are good neighbours and […]

Accused spy faces 14 years in jail

A Russian prosecutor asked a Moscow court to sentence retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg to 14 years in prison as his speedy espionage trial wrapped up on Tuesday. Berg stands accused of spying for Norway but claims he was merely an unwitting courier. He’s already been languishing in one of Russia’s most high-security prisons […]

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 […]