China does not accept that it is being held out of the increasingly important Arctic Council. The country is now stepping up it bid for permanent observer status and will soon send its Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Sweden and Iceland, Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao said at a press briefing this week.
-We hope to cooperate with relevant countries like Sweden and Iceland on issues of peace, stability and sustainable development in the Arctic, NTB and Nrk.no quote Song Tao as saying.
The Prime Minister will visit the countries in late April, the Chinese government website informs.
Sweden currently chairs the Council, which is gradually being turned into a key arena for international action in the Arctic.
China shows an increasing interest in the Arctic and is keen on strengthening its position in the Council. That, however, will require the approval of the current Council members. And that might not come easy.
From before, several of the Council members have been highly reluctant to expand the number of permanent observers. Among the bidders, which do far have been turned down, are not only China, but also several other countries, as well as the EU.
The issue is further complicated by Norway’s currently difficult relation with China. Ever since the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee granted the prize to Chinese dissident Liu Ziaobo, China has frozen relations with the country. The Norwegian response seems to be that it can not discuss the Chinese role in the Arctic Council, simply because China refuses to talk with Norway.
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.