Arkhangelsk oblast

A great interview with an entrepreneur from Arkhangelsk oblast showing the depressed economy and unique resilience. I particularly like the point: “What have you learned after six years of work in the Russian North? – First of all, never count on your own efforts, because everything goes as God wills…’.

The Arctic Council

A very odd reflection in Nezavisimaya gazeta on the meeting of chiefs of staff of the Arctic Council, as if the top brass were arguing about competitive military build-up. The conclusion that Russia is lagging behind in the arms race in the Arctic is plain preposterous.

NGO activity in the Arctic Council

A very sharp article in Bellona on Medvedev’s great reluctance to show support for NGO activity in the Arctic Council. The photo by Truide Pettersen shows a demonstration of ecologists in Murmansk.

Cold War in the north

Following Medvedev’s sour comments in Kirkenes on NATO expansion, here is an excellent article by the sharpest-of-the-sharp Edward Lucas Cold War in the north By Edward Lucas – 06.06.2013 / 03:40 CET The Nordic and Baltic states are increasingly worried about Russia Discussing NATO membership in Sweden is a bit like discussing sex at a… Read more »

Barents Region summit in Kirkenes

Very little attention in the Russian media to the Barents Region summit in Kirkenes, where Prime Minister Medvedev tried to assert that Russia suffered no damage from signing the maritime border treaty with Norway on his watch. Moskovsky Komsomolets (rather suprisingly for this tabloid) focused on the issue of NATO enlargement, while Rossiiskaya Gazeta complained… Read more »

International Arctic Council

Ambassador Anton Vasilyev addressing the first session of the International Arctic Council in Moscow on May 23. Moskovsky Komsomolets noted the event. My presentation was quoted in

‘Peace and love’ in the Kiruna meeting

I have been looking for reflection on the Arctic Council meeting in the Russian media – and have found surprisingly little. One opinionated comment about the EU coveting Arctic resources appeared in Regnum. Another more balanced analysis about ‘peace and love’ in the Kiruna meeting appeared in Expert, but the opening line is ‘The Arctic… Read more »

Permanent observers at the Arctic Council

Russia had to agree to granting the status of permanent observers at the Arctic Council to six countries (but not to the EU), but according to Kommersant, convinced the member-state to approve a document that limits their role to silent observation. This sharp discussion looks rather different from the pretty picture of the works of… Read more »

The Arctic Council meets in Kiruna

The Arctic Council meets today in Kiruna, Sweden, famous for its huge iron ore mine. Kommersant has a sharp article on Russia’s opposition to the move to grant China and the EU the status of permanent observers, and even Nasdaq has reflected upon the event.