Our Friends, the Russians
Russia’s actions in the Crimea and Ukraine, and the modernising of its armed forces at home, are causing anxiety in the High North. Here Norwegian (as well as broader Western) security and economic interests converge with those of Russia, and can conflict. Will the High North be the next flashpoint in a new Cold War?
Norway is adept at walking the tightrope between co-operation and self-protection in its relations with the former Soviet Union. A founding member of Nato, this tiny oil-rich state has been a key player in promoting stability in the region. Defence expert Mats Berdal, a Norwegian national now living in London, travels to Kirkenes in the High North to meet those who live and work along the Russian border.
(Photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Norwegian Foreign Minster Boerge Brende attend a wreath ceremony at the Russia Monument, Kirkenes, 2014. Credit: Berit Roald/AFP/Getty Images)