- We understand that Russia is a European power, but urge Moscow to make a commitment to the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from areas adjacent to European Union member states. We are thinking of areas like the Kaliningrad region and the Kola Peninsula, where there are still substantial numbers of these weapons, writes Sweden’s Carl Bildt and Poland’s Radek Sikorski in an up-ed in the New York Times.
They suggest such a withdrawal could be accompanied by the destruction of relevant storage facilities.
On the Kola Peninsula, storage facilities for naval tactical nuclear weapons exist. The actual numbers of such nuclear warheads are held secret and not accounted for in international treaties. The START treaty and the soon-to-come follow-up treaty only count strategic nuclear weapons.
In October last year, BarentsObserver was driving together with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on the road that is passing near many of the Russian Northern fleet’s naval bases, not far from the site where tactical nuclear weapons are stored on the Kola Peninsula. The bus ride started in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes and continued to Murmansk, where Carl Bildt met his colleagues in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.
The existence of tactical nuclear warheads on the Kola Peninsula that are not accounted for in international treaties were one of the issues in talk between BarentsObserver and the Swedish Foreign Minister.
Carl Bildt refers in his up-ed in the New York Times to a recent report by the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament that indicates that Russia holds around 2000 tactical warheads, the vast majority in the western part of the country.
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.