Joint exercises and military cooperation are among the expected casualties of a diplomatic fallout between the U.S. and Russia over recent events in Ukraine, U.S. officials say.
The administration will cancel the biannual Northern Eagle exercise, which involves the U.S., Norway and Russia, a military official says to web site Stars and Stripes. A planning conference for the exercise on April 13 is expected to be cancelled.
Northern Eagle, held every two years in the Barents and Norwegian seas, focuses on anti-terror and anti-piracy operations, coordinated maneuvering, joint air defense drills, communications and search and rescue operations. It was first held in 2004 as a bilateral Russian-U.S. exercise but was opened to Norway in 2008.
In Northern Eagle 2012 the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer “USS Farragut”, the Russian Northern Fleet’s destroyer “Admiral Chabaneko” and the Norwegian coast guard vessel “KV Andenes” participated.
Officials are also discussing pulling out of the annual FRUKUS naval exercise between France, Russia, the United Kingdom and U.S. A planning conference for the exercise that is scheduled for April 22-23 can be cancelled, the military source says.
FRUKUS, held last year in France, was created by the four nations in 2003 to improve interoperability. It is the largest international exercise Russia’s Northern Fleet takes part in.
The Russian company this summer assembled 3D seismic data from a 2800 square kilometer area in the Barents Sea. The company believes the area could hold 1.4 billion tons of oil and 1.9 trillion cubic meters of gas.
KIRKENES: Warmer temperatures at the bottom of the Barents Sea are of big concern to ecologists in the High North. Certain marine species are disappearing from the ecosystem while others are increasing in number. The impact on Russia’s fisheries sector is crucial.
Industrialists in Finland eye the opening of a major trade and transport route with a projected railway connection to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Former PM Paavo Lipponen has been hired to get the Norwegians onboard.
Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.
The autumn of 1944 large parts of Finnmark and northern Troms were burnt and destroyed by Nazi German forces retreating from onrushing Soviet troops. The civilian population was forced to evacuate or hide.