Norway gives green light to stranded goods for Russian Arctic miners
Norwegian authorities have cleared the passage of essential goods bound for Russian miners on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) reported Wednesday.
Last week, Russian officials expressed outrage at Norway’s decision to halt the passage of Russian goods, including food, destined for the approximately 400 miners in the town of Barentsburg employed by the Russian mining company. Arktikugol coal mining. The goods were stopped at the Russian-Norwegian land border due to Western sanctions against Russian shipping imposed after Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Norway has now allowed the goods to continue their journey to Barentsburg on a Norwegian truck, followed by a Norwegian ship.
“Two containers with goods for Barentsburg are currently on board a Norwegian ship heading from Tromsø to [Svalbard’s capital] Longyearbyen,” Ane Lunde, spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told NRK.
Lunde told NRK that Oslo never intended to halt shipments to Barentsburg completely and remained in dialogue with its Russian counterparts over the incident.
“Because of the sanctions, [the goods] could not enter the Russian-registered vehicle in which they were traveling. [That’s why] a Norwegian carrier transported them to Tromsø,” Lunde said.
Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee in the upper house, had accused Oslo of violating the 1920 Svalbard Treaty and “principles of humanism”.