(Views and News from Norway) Russia under an increasingly aggressive President Vladimir Putin has put Norway in an “entirely new situation,” especially regarding its authority in the Arctic, claims one local foreign policy expert. Svalbard has been singled out as vulnerable, he claims, as Russia moves from being a cooperative neighbour in the far north to flexing its military muscle.
Norway has held sovereignty over Svalbard since the early 1920s, but a top Russian researcher suggests it now it may be vulnerable to new Russian aggression.
“Last winter the struggle between Russia and Norway was about athletic competition at the Olympics in Sochi,” Pavel Baev, research director at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), told newspaper Aftenposten on Wednesday. “Now Norway must do what it really doesn’t want to, that is to prepare us for a confrontation. The threat is already to a certain degree real.” […]
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