Norway blocks food supplies to Russians & fears Russian aggression

Norway blocks food supplies to Russians to which the Russian authorities demand a swift resolution or else feel the wrath of the Russian armed forces.

Moscow accused Norway on Wednesday of blocking the transit of goods to Russians living in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and threatened Oslo with retaliation.

Russia claims that Norway blocked supplies of equipment and food at the Storskog land border crossing that were to be loaded onto a ship bound for Svalbard for Russian miners in the archipelago.

Norway blocks food supplies to Russians

“We demanded that the Norwegian side resolve this issue as soon as possible… We stressed that unfriendly actions towards Russia lead to retaliatory measures,” Russia’s foreign ministry diplomacy said in a statement, announcing that the Norwegian chargé d’affaires in Moscow had been summoned.

The deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council, Konstantin Kossachev, has accused Oslo of violating the Treaty of Paris.

“The Norwegian authorities are trying to ensure that Russian minors are left without food, which is in itself amoral. This violates human rights, and the principles of humanism,” he wrote on Telegram.

Norway has violated the Treaty of Paris

In the immediate aftermath, a statement from the Russian council stated that ‘Norway has violated the Treaty of Paris’.

According to Sergei Gushkin, the Russian consul on the Arctic archipelago, the cargo consisted of 20 tonnes of goods, including seven tonnes of food, spare parts and essential equipment for the winter.

Norway is blocking the goods in the application of European sanctions adopted against Russia because of its war in Ukraine, the diplomat said.

“I think Norway has not thought through joining the EU sanctions,” he added.

Russia was exploring alternative supply routes, including from Europe or by sea from the Russian city of Murmansk.

Norway responds to Russia

Norwegian Foreign ministry immediately responded to Russia’s claims that – Norway blocks food supplies to Russians.

Norway’s foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt told EU News

“Norway does not violate the Svalbard Treaty,” the foreign minister said. “Norway does not try to put obstacles in the way of supplies” to a Russian coal mining settlement in the area, she said.

The “has been stopped on the basis of the sanctions that prohibit Russian road transport companies from transporting goods on Norwegian territory”.

Where is Svalbard?

Where is Svalbard and why is it so important?
Where is Svalbard and why is it so important?

Svalbard or Spitsbergen as it is known by Russians is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the coast of Norway and the north pole.

Its capital, Longyearbyen, is home to people from more than 50 countries, often dubbed ‘ a place anyone can call home’ as it is a visa-free settlement.

Svalbard, a thousand kilometres from the North Pole, is twice the size of Belgium and is sometimes referred to as NATO’s “Achilles heel in the Arctic”.

A 1920 Paris treaty recognises Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard but also guarantees that 46 other signatory states — including Russia — are free to exploit the natural resources there “on a perfectly equal footing”.

For decades, Russia and the Nordic countries have been mining coal in these territories, which are inhabited by fewer than 3,000 people of some 50 nationalities.

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