Norwegian fighter jets were scrambled 41 times and identified a total of 71 Russian airplanes in 2012.
In 2011 there were 34 scramblings and 48 identifications, in 2010 36 scramblings and 37 identifications.
“In 2010 and 2011 the number of identified planes was somewhat lower, but the number of scramblings was approximately the same. The total number for 2012 is about the same level as in the period 2007-2009”, says press officer Lieutenant Colonel John Espen Lien at the Joint Command Headquaters to Avisa Nordland. “There is no direct connection between the number of scrambling and the number of identified planes”, Lien adds.
The increased number of identified planes is in line with Russian political statements about more military activity in the north, Lien says, but underlines that this has not yet been analyzed in detail in relation to the total Russian military activity so it is too early to draw any final conclusions.
Russian air activity in the north-west has varied over the years. In the mid-1980s there could be as much as 500-600 identifications annually. The number dropped drastically when the Soviet Union fell – in 1999-2000 there were only 3-5 identifications.
In 2007 President Vladimir Putin ordered increased international presence and the number of identifications rose to 88. The number was high also the next year, but dropped again in 2009.
John Espen Lien underlines that the Norwegian Air Force does not scramble jet fighters to identify every single Russian airplane that is detected. “For us the number of identified airplanes is not the most important. Our goal is to understand the activity”.
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.