In his letter, Murmansk Mayor Aleksey Veller underlines that Murmansk is ready to assist the Crimean city, now experiencing a tense situation following the chaotic power transition in Ukraine.
As part of the address, the mayor also proposes to establish a friendship pact between the two cities.
The letter is sent as pro-Moscow demonstrators on February 25 named a Russian citizen as the new mayor of Sevastopol, underscoring fears that the region may try to break away from Ukraine. New mayor is Alexey Chalov, a Russian citizen and businessman. Sevastopol has until now been the only city in Ukraine whose residents do not get to elect their mayor directly. Sevastopol hosts the powerful Russian Black Sea Fleet.
“We want you to know that you are not alone – we will help and support you”, Veller stresses in the letter which is co-authored with the local Murmansk City Council. The letter is published on the city government website.
“The hero-city of Sevastopol has never been standing on its knees, this city of military glory has resisted two heroic sieges”, Veller says, adding in an outcry that “Sevastopol – don’t be afraid! Stay united” Fight for your rights, fight for your future!”
Both Murmansk and Sevastopol are socalled “hero cities” following their heavy engagement in 2WW action. Both cities are also key sites for the Russian Armed Forces. While Sevastopol hosts the Black Sea Fleet, Murmansk has the Northern Fleet in its waters.
There is currently no military threats against Finland, but changes are possible, head of the country’s Armed Forces, General Jarmo Lindberg says. At the same time, the Finnish Parliament promises an increase in military spending.
”We are building not only a railway line, we are building our road to the future, our Arctic pathway”, regional Governor Marina Kovtun said at a launch ceremony of the long-awaited and much-disputed Murmansk Transport Hub.
Salve Dahle with Akvaplan-Niva in Norway hopes the verbal conflict and boycott in trade between east and west will have little consequences on high north research cooperation. Arctic Frontiers conferance signs with Russian Geographical Society.
As tensions in East-West relations mount, more than 150 representatives of NGOs, regional authorities and institutions meet in Tromsø, northern Norway, to discuss enhanced Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the Barents Region.