On Tuesday the White House announced that the U.S. does not plan to send any senior officials to the Winter Games in Sochi. Earlier French President François Hollande and President of Germany Joachim Gauck have also announced that they will not attend any events in the games.
Norway’s recently elected Prime Minister Erna Solberg says she would like to go to Sochi:
“It is not yet clear if I’ll go to Sochi or not, since I have a very busy schedule that month. But I really want to go because I believe it is important to support Norwegian sports achievements”, she says to newspaper VG.
Members of the Royal Family are also planning to attend parts of the Olympic games, as they have done for many years.
Russia has been widely criticized for introducing antigay-rights laws which might been seen as a violation of the International Olympic Committee charter that states that sport is a human right regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Though President Putin has promised that all guests at the Olympics will be made to feel comfortable, the laws he supports clearly put gay individuals and supporters in jeopardy.
Erna Solberg does not wish to send any political signal to Russian authorities by not going.
“I am no fan of protesting through non-participation. I don’t think that gives a better foundation for dialogue”. Solberg adds that Norway has frequent meetings with Russian politicians where questions like human rights are being discussed.
“I think Solberg has made the right decision”, says Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat Rune Rafaelsen to BarentsObserver. “It is important to hold all channel open in our relationship with Russia”.
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.