In Chicago, NATO will conclude its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review. In an Op-Ed posted in the New York Times on Tuesday, Jonas Gahr Støre and Radoslaw Sikorski write on the need for NATO and Russia to include tactical nukes in further weapons reductions talk.
“It is high time to hold a meaningful dialogue between NATO and Russia on nuclear issues in general, and on tactical nuclear weapons in particular,” the two foreign ministers write.
U.S. has an unknown number of tactical nuclear warheads Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Russia has naval- and air force based tactical nuclear weapons stored on the Kola Peninsula, in short distance from the border to Norway. In addition, strategic nuclear warheads - ready to launch within minutes – are based onboard submarines with homeports along the coast from Murmansk towards the Norwegian border.
Støre and Sikorski say the ratification of the New Start treaty of 2010 raised expectations that arms control would be extended to cover tactical nuclear weapons.
“The Chicago summit should send a strong signal of NATO’s resolve to engage with Russia on nuclear issues. Our aim is to strengthen the partnership between NATO and Russia, and to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security,” the two foreign ministers write.
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.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
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.