The North Atlantic Council will visit Bodø and Tromsø, while the NATO Secretary General will visit Bodø and Oslo.
The 28 members of the North Atlantic Council, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and representatives from NATO’s international staff will arrive in Tromsø on 6 May, where they will be welcomed by State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Torgeir Larsen. Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide will also join the high-ranking NATO officials during their stay in Northern Norway, the ministry’s web site reads.
The visit in Tromsø includes Briefings on matters relating to the High North, a visit to the High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment (Fram Centre) and a visit and excursion with the Coast Guard vessel “Sortland”.
At the University of Tromsø Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide will participate in a debate on the topic ‘Security Challenges in Changing Times – The Role of NATO’ together with the NATO Ambassadors Ivo Daalder (US), Mariot Leslie (UK) and Tomáš Valášek (Slovakia).
On Tuesday the council teams up with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Bodø. There they will have a Guided tour and briefing at the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, Reitan and demonstration of Quick Reaction Alert for Norwegian F16 fighter jets.
Fogh Rasmussen’s program in Oslo includes an audience at the Royal Palace, a meeting with the President of the Storting and a meeting with the Prime Minister. The Secretary General will also take part in the ceremony to mark Norwegian Liberation and Veterans’ Day on 8 May at Akershus Fortress.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.
“Young journalists are the future of cross border communication in the North. We feel it is important to give them a possibility to network and learn about new media”, says Virpi Komulainen, project coordinator of the Barents Mediasphere.