This is how the new bridge at the mouth of the Pasvik river will look when ready three years from now. Norway gives full speed in a new road towards the Russian border in the north.
The old bridge, built in 1960, is the only narrow road across the river. Thus, in Cold War thinking it would be rather natural to get rid of it in case of a Soviet invasion. The nearest Norwegian military border guard camp is located only some few hundred meters from the bridge and a regular scenario in exercises was to run down the hill and blow up the bridge.
Today, Norway’s relation with Russia is more of a bridge-building character.
Business- and peoples’ contact across the border is developing fast. Cross-border traffic had doubled over the last three years and visa-freedom for local citizens was introduced some months ago.
The new road from the border check-point towards the town of Kirkenes is highlighted in the Norwegian governments High North policy. Construction started two years ago on the east side of the river. Next year, work starts on the 3,6 kilometer new road for the west side. The new bridge will leads the road directly into a tunnel taking traffic outside the residential area.
Nine meter wide, the new road will be well prepared for increased cargo- and truck traffic between northern Norway to Russia’s Kola Peninsula.
Russia is also giving full speed on upgrading the road from the border towards Murmansk. The main road E105 gets a shortcut from the north side of Salmijärvi towards Zapolyarny. When ready in autumn 2014, drivers will save some 15 minutes compared with the route via Nikel. At Pechenga, a brand new bridge is being built including upgrade of the road west of Sputnik.
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.