Month: October 2013

On Distance and Proximity

On July 22nd 2011, I was home from work when I heard a loud blast. It sounded like thunder. Strange that I had not seen any lightning, with a sound this loud, I thought before carrying on with household chores. Half an hour later I took a break, logging onto Facebook. ‘Explosion in Oslo, it’s… Read more »

The Ethics in Free Speech

”This is moralism‘, we were told after having published an op-ed in one of the largest Norwegian newspapers, Aftenposten, in June 2013. This reaction made us even more curious about whether ethics is of any relevance to citizens’ freedom of expression. In our view, the critique is due to the confusion between what is normally… Read more »

Diplomatic and Real Realities in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

  Over the last few years I have encountered a number of professional Western diplomats who express their disbelief in any serious Israeli intention of achieving peace with the Palestinians. To be sure, these diplomats also fault the Palestinian leadership for their ability to bungle almost any initiative and opportunity they encounter. But unlike the… Read more »

Natural resources in the Arctic

The myth about the Arctic as the ultimate “treasure chest” of natural resources still has plenty of spin in the Russian political discourse, but reasonable assessments, like this article in Nezavisimaya gazeta, do appear. They are confirmed by the fact that Gazprom has in fact cut down the production on its newly-opened Bovanenkovskoe fields on… Read more »

Severodvinsk

The Barents Observer, which is a very good source on Arctic matters, has brought to my attention an article in Voenno-Promyshelly Kuryer on the problems and delays with the nuclear submarine Severodvinsk. The keel of this first sub in Yasen class was laid back in 1993, but the sea trials that started in 2011 have revealed… Read more »

Putin lashes against Sergei Medvedev

When I wrote the post about Zhirinivsky last week, I thought the issue could not get more bizarre – and was proven wrong. Yes, it can – and President Putin himself took care of that. He lashed against Sergei Medvedev with such passion that it is plain clear – the idea about putting environment first… Read more »

Golden Sunset

  The recent crackdown on the Golden Dawn, the extreme right political party in Greece, met with a mixture of feelings on the part of the general Greek public: relief, exaltation, impatience, frustration, uncertainty, even fear. It was also surrounded with a number of questions. For some, just why? For most, why now? Why has… Read more »

Zhirinovsky

A remarkably bizzare twist to the Arctic tale: My good friend Sergei Medvedev posted a comment to a blog post, in which he argued that Soviet and Russian “conquest” of the Arctic had inflicted so much damage to the environment that all economic activity in the High North should be banned and a UN monitoring… Read more »