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Arctic: Norway does not violate treaty by blocking Russian cargo to Svalbard, says Oslo

2022-06-29T20:50:36.807Z

Norway assured on Wednesday that it was within its rights by blocking the entry on its soil of a cargo intended for Russians on the Arctic archipelago...



Norway assured on Wednesday that it was within its rights by blocking the entry on its soil of a shipment intended for Russians on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, after threats of reprisals from Moscow.

Oslo

"is not trying to put obstacles"

in the supply of a community of Russian miners settled in these vast Norwegian islands near the North Pole, assured the Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt in a statement to AFP, after accusations of

"unfriendly action"

by Russian diplomacy.

Read alsoArctic: Moscow accuses Norway of blocking transit to Svalbard, threat of reprisals

"Norway does not violate the Svalbard Treaty"

, which has governed for a century, with specific rules, this territory of only 3000 inhabitants lost on the borders of the Arctic.

The cargo that sparked strong Russian protests

“has been blocked on the basis of the sanctions”

imposed by Oslo following the invasion of Ukraine,

“which prohibit the entry of Russian freight transport companies into the territory Norwegian"

, underlined the minister.

In this episode of tension in the Arctic, Moscow accuses Norway of having blocked 20 tons of goods at the land border crossing point of Storskog, which were to be loaded for Svalbard on board a ship in the Norwegian port of Tromso.

But nothing prevents the Russian side from using other direct routes, for example by sea, to supply its community of miners based in the small mining town of Barentsburg, pointed out Anniken Huitfeldt.

The situation is otherwise normal in this small town where the northernmost coal mine in the world is operated.

“Residents have access to food and medicine

,” according to Oslo.

After having summoned the Norwegian charge d'affaires in Moscow, Russia had demanded from Norway on Wednesday the settlement

"as soon as possible"

of this question, citing

"retaliatory measures".

Svalbard is governed by an atypical treaty, concluded in 1920 in Paris.

It recognizes the sovereignty of Norway but also guarantees the nationals of the signatory states, today 46 including Russia, the freedom to exploit the natural resources there

“on a footing of perfect equality”.

It is in this capacity that, for decades, Russia - the USSR before it - has been mining coal on these lands, among the most northerly inhabited places on the planet.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-06-29

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