Carl Bildt, Espen Barth Eide, Leona Aglukkaq and Magnus Johannesson at the signing at Framsenteret. Photo: Morten Brugård
Signing the Arctic Council Host Country agreement in Tromsø yesterday, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide explicitly expressed that he will work towards admitting China observer status in the Arctic Council. Carl Bildt, Chair of the Arctic Council and Swedish Foreign Minister supported the statement.
It has been argued that the Norwegian governments would use China’s application for observer status in the Arctic Council for leverage in the on-going conflict after Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2010. These allegation was brushed aside as Minister Eide put it in layman’s terms; “We want people to join our club. That means they will not start another club”. Barth Eide is backed up by Minster Bildt; “The Arctic Council should be the arena for Arctic issues”.
Ambassador to Norway for the Peoples’s Republic of China, Zhao Jun and Ambassador to Norway from the Republic of Korea ,Byong Hyun Lee both advocated including stakeholders from outside the Arctic to be admitted observer status in the Arctic Council when giving speeches at the Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø earlier that very same day. They both stressed the importance of the Arctic in regards to both energy and new shipping lanes, and how these changes affect who the stakeholders are.
The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic countries and six non-Arctic countries have so far been admitted as observers. Twelve countries and organizations are currently applying for observer status. These include China, Italia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, India and the EU.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.