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Thomas Nilsen

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Thomas Nilsen is editor of BarentsObserver and is based at the desk in Kirkenes, northern Norway. He has been working for the Norwegian Barents Secretariat since 2003. Before, he worked 12 years for the Bellona Foundation’s Russian study group, focusing on nuclear safety issues and general environmental challenges in northern areas and the Arctic.

Thomas has been travelling extensively in the Barents Region and northern Russia since the late 80’s working for different media and organizations. He is also a guide at sea and in remote locations in the Russian north for various groups and regularly lectures on security issues and socio-economic development in the Barents Region. Thomas Nilsen studied at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Content by Thomas Nilsen

No cold international climate stops Norway and Russia to invest heavily in cross-border road infrastructure. Excavators and dump trucks work day and night upgrading Russia’s highway to NATO.

Falling oil price hits Norway hard. Exported crude oil for NOK 13.2 billion (€1.54 billion) in January, less than half from the corresponding month last year.

Norway will no longer have a Commissioner dressed in military uniform on its border to Russia. Ellen Katrine Hætta could take over the position as part of the Government’s nationwide police reform.

68 new windmills soon to be approved near Skellefteå. In 2014, Europe installed more new wind energy capacity than gas and coal combined.

“Whatever the pressure, Rakurs will continue to support LGBT community, to provide legal and psychological help. And we are going to challenge this wrongful decision in the court,” says Tatiana Vinnichenko, head of the organization.

CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, Bjørn Kjos, says Russian airliners should be denied to overfly Norwegian territory. His Dreamliner is forced to fly around Russian territory on routes from Scandinavia to Bangkok.

Murmansk based organization providing legal support to victims of homophobia continues to work and will appeal decision.

“It is timely to look into what we are going to spend Norwegian money on. Russia must take responsibility,” says Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende commenting on the increase in radioactive waste to be accumulated as Russia’s nuclear submarine construction hit post-Soviet peak.

“Ship-to-ship reloading of oil in icy-waters outside Kirkenes is a great example that Norway jeopardizes nature by lowering safety standards in our race for industrialization of the north,” says Lars Haltbrekken, head of the Norwegian Society for the conservation of Nature.

“We are in dialogue, not confrontation,” says Aleksandr Zelenov from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. A regional indigenous peoples summit are in pipe.