How Norway could be affected by war

Russian invasion in Ukraine alters foreign relations

Jonas Gahr Støre

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre spoke at a press conference about the unfolding Russian attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24.

FRAZER NORWELL
The Local

Tensions between Russia and Western nations have flared up following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One of our partner correspondents at The Local takes a look at Norway’s reaction to the crisis and how the country of Norway could be affected.

Norway’s shared border with Russia has meant that relations between the two countries can sometimes be more nuanced than other countries’ relations with Russia.

The Nordic country shares a border with Russia in what’s referred to as the High North. The country is also a member of the Barents Cooperation, a program with Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Next year, the cooperation will be 30 years old.

The aim of the program was to establish a regional cornerstone for cooperation in northern Europe. Norway also has a bilateral fishing agreement with Russia, and the two countries have a deal on joint search and rescue operations in the Barents Sea.

Norway also established the first-ever agreement on visa-free travel between Russia and a Schengen member state, allowing visa-free travel between Kirkenes in northern Norway and the two Russian towns of Nikel and Zapolyarny.

At a government level, relations between the two nations have been strained. In 2010, they were in a territorial dispute over the Barents Sea and it was later resolved.

Several espionage cases have caused tension between Norway and Russia in recent years. Hackers believed to be linked to Russia have been accused of several cyber attacks, and in 2020, a Russian diplomat was expelled on suspicion of espionage.

Norway has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“This attack is a serious violation of international law and endangers the lives of innocent people. The Russian authorities have full responsibility for throwing Europe into this very dark situation,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, calling for an end to Russion aggresssion in Ukraine. 

As a result of the invasion, Norwegian embassy personnel in Ukraine have been relocated from Kyiv to Lviv in western Ukraine.

Norway will also join the European Union in sanctioning Russia over Ukraine.

Several markets have seen their stock fall since Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine. Oslo’s stock exchange has also declined, although not to the same extent as other European markets. 

While Norway’s stock market has been negatively affected by the invasion, oil prices have continued to rise throughout the week. Norway is Western Europe’s largest oil and gas exporter, with its energy sector set to see increased revenues from oil and gas because of the invasion.

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Local

This article first appeared in The Local, a independent source for Norway's news in English. Visit www.thelocal.no.

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