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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

The most comprehensive and long-standing cooperation the U.S. has in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions might end as Russia says no new projects are envisioned for 2015. “A big setback,” says nuclear physicist Nils Bøhmer with the Bellona Foundation.

Rumors are flying like the storm that hit the Romanian built jack-up rig “Saturn” near the island Kolgoyev last Friday.

With painful memories of the Kursk disaster, the Russian navy has created an emergency chamber on its latest “Severodvinsk” submarine. This weekend, the crew tested it in Zapadnaya Litsa.

Anna Ushakova with AETAS and Trude Myhre from WWF urge protection of the last large areas with old-growth forest in Europe.

After years of booming border traffic, October saw a slide in people crossing the Russian-Norwegian border. Shopping tourism is less attractive as ruble hits all time low on Friday.

Russia has over the last 72 hours tested its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines and this ICBM launched Saturday morning.

Barents father and former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thorvald Stoltenberg, says the current security situation is crying out for closer Nordic cooperation on defence and security.

Norway’s most famous coastal cruise liner has agreed to a takeover offer from a British group of investors. The company now plans for expedition cruising to Russia’s White Sea region.

What was the Barents Region’s only east-west flight, from Arkhangelsk to Tromsø via Murmansk, lacks permission and is no longer flying. Nordavia, however, hopes to see the Pskovaia operated aircraft soon landing in Tromsø again.

The four bombers and four tanker aircraft tracked by F-16s outside Northern Norway were not using on-board transponders or maintained any radio contact with civilian air traffic authorities.