“As a Deputy from Finnmark, I have over time seen how both people-to-people cooperation, trade and political cooperation between Norway and Russia have evolved positively over time,” says Kåre Simensen to BarentsObserver.
Simensen has now invited all his fellow deputies to join the Norwegian, Russian friendship association in the Parliament (Storting).
“So far, 18 members of Parliament from different parties have signed up.”
Before being elected to the Parliament in 2009 for the Labour Party, Kåre Simensen was a member of the executive in Finnmark county council and active in the regional cross-border Barents cooperation, especially with Murmansk in Northwest-Russia.
“Development of northern areas is a priority for both Russia and Norway. Our connections to the north are a positive example of good neighborliness, practical cooperation and interpersonal contacts,” says Kåre Simensen.
Via the Russian Embassy in Oslo, Simensen has been informed that both chambers of the Russian Parliament, the Duma and the Federation Council, are interested in joining a Norwegian-Russian parliamentary friendship association.
Although Norway and Russia have developed close ties, and likely one of the best east-west contact networks in Europe, Simensen do not hide that there are challenges.
“Russia, like other countries, has issues and views that can be a challenge for us in Norway. Human rights and the anti-gay are such examples. Accordingly we will certainly find things here in Norway that the Russians could be interpreted as challenging. So are the realities. But the value of having a Friendship Society is that difficult and challenging issues must be taken up in all its forms,” argues Kåre Simensen.
Norwegian and Russian flag outside the Norwegian Parliament when Speaker of Russia's Federation Council Valentina Matvienko visited Oslo in December 2013.
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.