Norwegian PM: Russian attack on Ukraine will have consequences also in the North,

[…] More than 16 years later, Støre is back in Tromsø, now as prime minister. The great enthusiasm over the North and cooperation with Russia is long gone. But the North is no less important for the Nordic country, and Støre is eager to bring the region back on the national agenda.

Relations with Russia are no longer seen as a potential driver for regional development, rather as a troublesome threat to regional stability.

The speech in Tromsø was a held as Støre prepares a response to the letter on security guarantees sent on 1st of February by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Støre did not comment on the letter from Lavrov. But he made very clear that the formerly close relationship with the Russian foreign minister has changed radically. Describing his brief meeting with Lavrov in late October last year, Støre underlined that the Russian message “is quite another than before.”

According to Støre, the meeting that took place following Lavrov’s participation in the Barents Council meeting, was a held in “a good tone.”

“But the message is quite another than before, to say it mildly,” the prime minister underlined. “It is another partner, another country, in another situation.” […]

The premier in this week’s speech warned about an increasingly tense situation in the North, and said Norway will strengthen its defense capabilities in northern Norway, on land, at sea and in the air, as well as digitally. At the same time, he made clear that Norway will “contribute to low tensions in its neighborhood areas.”

“Our slogan High North – Low Tension still applies,” he underlined and said that dialogue must proceed. “It is possible to continue to talk even when one very much disagree, at least with neighbors because neighbors always have issues to discuss,” he said. Läs artikel