NATO chief flies home to some critics

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg arrived back home in Norway this week, on an official visit in his new role as secretary general of NATO. He was greeted not only by former political rivals and Crown Prince Haakon, but also by Norwegian researchers who claimed he and NATO are being too hard on Russia. Stoltenberg landed first in […]

Russian Embassy drew huge crowd

So many guests responded favourably to an invitation to a Liberation Day reception at the Russian Embassy in Oslo on Friday that they literally had to line up to get in. Far from boycotting the event, because of heightened tensions between Norway and Russia, the hundreds of diplomats, business associates and even the mayor of Oslo […]

Northerners just want to stay friends

As Norway celebrated Liberation Day on Friday, 70 years after the end of five miserable years of occupation during World War II, many Norwegians were remembering how Soviet troops helped liberate the most northern areas of the country, in Finnmark. They want to remain good neighbours with Russia, and worry that rising tensions between Oslo and […]

Russian relations in new cold phase

Norway’s top military envoy to NATO agrees with Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide that the country has landed in a new period of much colder relations with Russia that won’t warm up any time soon. Russia’s Embassy in Oslo, meanwhile, has published its foreign ministry’s diplomatic response to last week’s confirmation of a stronger Nordic and Baltic military cooperation. Lieutenant General Robert […]

Solberg drops trip to Moscow memorial

In the latest sign of frosty relations between Norway and Russia, Prime Minister Erna Solberg won’t be taking part in ceremonies in Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remained unclear whether anyone else will represent the Norwegian government at the ceremonies set for May 9. Solberg wasn’t commenting directly on her […]

‘Russia poses no threat to Norway’

Norwegian researchers, military leaders and intelligence officials who follow Russia closely now contend that a recent burst of military activity in the Arctic does not signal any real threats, to either Russia or Norway. Russian President Vladimir Putin may be trying to frighten the west, they say, but there’s no real fear that Russian troops will march over the […]

Jens ‘tense’ before first NATO meeting

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has been flying around Europe and as far as Afghanistan since taking over as secretary general of NATO two months ago. On Tuesday he was ready to lead his first meeting of all 28 foreign ministers of NATO’s member nations, after what he called “a year of aggression, crisis and conflict.” […]

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 […]

Embattled Erna keen to hang on

NEWS ANALYSIS: It’s been 200 years since Norway received its first prime minister, albeit as part of its unhappy union with Sweden at the time. While Peder Anker was simply appointed on November 18, 1814 by Swedish Crown Prince Carl Johan, his current counterpart Erna Solberg must struggle to retain voter support during the most difficult state […]

Norway ‘doesn’t have much extra gas’ for EU

Norway’s oil and energy minister, Tord Lien, said Tuesday that Norway has “a theoretical capacity” to export 120 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Europe, but is already exporting “about 106 billion cubic meters.” The gap “doesn’t give us much extra gas” to export without cutting into oil production, Lien said. Tensions resulting […]