Tag Archives: Oslo

Russia is alarmed by a US Air Force visit to Norway’s Jan Mayen

Norway’s defense minister insists the Arctic island won’t be used for military activities. By Reuters -February 13, 2020398Share on FacebookTweet on Twitter

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets are about to receive fuel mid-air from a KC-135 refueling plane over Norway en route to a joint training exercise with Norway’s growing fleet of F-35 jets August 15, 2018. (Andrea Shalal / Reuters File Photo)

MOSCOW/OSLO — Russia said on Thursday it was alarmed by a trip that a U.S. Air Force unit took to a Norwegian Arctic outpost and urged Oslo to refrain from what it said were de-stabilizing moves in the strategic region.

A squadron of U.S. Air Force staff visited Norway’s air base on the island of Jan Mayen in the North Atlantic in November to test the airfield and to see whether U.S. C-130J Super Hercules military transport planes can land there.

[A US helping hand to Norway in Jan Mayen also extends the Pentagon’s Arctic reach]

The potential for conflict in the Arctic has grown as climate change has made the region more accessible, and Russia has built up its own military presence there while touting the potential of the Northern Sea Route across its northern flank.

Moscow has repeatedly raised concerns over NATO-member Norway’s military spending, its moves to develop its military infrastructure and the deployment of foreign military personnel in the country.

Commenting on the U.S. visit to the island, the Russian Foreign Ministry told Reuters Moscow believed Norway’s recent military activity was ultimately aimed at Russia and that such actions destabilize the region.

“…the sheer fact of the possible presence of the U.S. Air Force on the island, albeit occasional, is alarming,” it said.

“We hope Oslo will be responsible and far-sighted in building its policy in the north and will refrain from actions that undermine regional stability and damage bilateral relations,” the ministry said.

Earlier this month, Moscow accused Norway of restricting its activities on the archipelago of Svalbard, a remote chain of islands in the Arctic, and said it wanted talks with Oslo to have the issue resolved.

The U.S. Air Force visit has also raised questions in Oslo.

Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen has played down the implications of the visit on the security situation in the north and Norway’s relationship with Russia.

“Individual transport flights to Jan Mayen with planes from allied countries will not impact the security policy picture in the north,” he told parliament.

He said a request to help with transport flights to Jan Mayen was sent to allied countries in 2019 as Norway’s air force was stretched.

He said planes from military forces from Austria, Sweden, Denmark and France had flown to Jan Mayen between 2017 and 2019.

“Jan Mayen will not be used for military activities,” he said.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova in Moscow and Gwladys Fouche in Oslo.

Norway Ranks first in the Regional Potential Index

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 16(Greenpost)–Norway ranks the first of the top ten cities in nordic region in the Regional Potential Index, according to a new report published on Tuesday.

“Norway has succeeded in keeping these regions’ economy boosting with very high GRP/capita. It is accompanied by important immigration flows, especially in Oslo and Akershus, and low demographic dependency rate”, the report said.

Norway’s most successful regions in the top five are there mostly due to their very high scores in economic potential. Oslo and Akershus have very high scores in demographic potential, whereas the three other Norwegian regions perform pretty well in labour market potential. Demographic potential consist of important immigration flows, high population density, low demographic dependency.



2015 rank

(2010 rank)

Region Territorial potential (total points) Demographic potential Labour market potential Economic potential
1 (3) Oslo (NO) 758 278 190 290
2 (1) Hovedstaden (DK) 756 286 170 300
3 (4) Stockholm (SE) 753 263 190 300
4 (2) Akershus (NO) 748 248 260 240
5 (5) Helsinki-Uusimaa (FI) 738 278 180 280
6 (6) Rogaland (NO) 728 188 270 270
7 (10) Sør-Trøndelag (NO) 703 173 260 270
8 (7) Hordaland (NO) 685 165 240 280
9 (9) Uppsala (SE) 618 218 180 220
10 (8) Höfuðborgarsvæðið (IS) 598 248 220 130



Norway’s strengths and weaknesses

The largest population increases for the period 2005-2015 were in the municipalities of Stockholm (+147.000 inhabitants), Oslo (+118.000) and Copenhagen (+78.000). Norway is one of the Nordic countries among Sweden and Denmark where migration has accounted for the majority of population growth over the past twenty-five years. Migration movement between Nordic countries (intra-Nordic migration) in 2014 shows, that Denmark and Norway have net Nordic immigration, whereas Finland, Iceland and Sweden have net emigration. The largest flows are between Norway and Sweden (about 7,5% of the total intra-Nordic migration, in each direction). Norway is the only country with net immigration from all the four other Nordic countries.


Norway has the highest share (36%) of international PhD graduates followed by Denmark (33%), Sweden (29%) and Iceland (26%). Surprisingly Norway also stands out together with Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland in the early school leaver rates, above 15%.


Nordkapp in Northern Norway received the most passengers in 2014 in the Nordic Arctic. Norrkapp received 122 000 passengers from 109 ports of call. In Northern Norway, cruise ship tourism is centred on a few ports, the largest, in terms of passenger numbers, also include Tromsø (112 000 passengers), followed by Leknes (60 000 passengers).  In Norway a clear trend is that a large share of the international tourists are from other European countries. However, the largest numbers of overnight stays are comprised by visitors from Sweden and Denmark.


Since 2011, the increase in air passengers has been highest in Norway and Iceland. The air passenger development is expected to slow down to annual growth by year 2020 for Norway and Finland, with only 1-2%.


In all of the Nordic countries Housing price indexes have increased more than the EU average. As an example the housing prices in Norway have increased with 400 percent in the period 1992-2014. During the same period prices overall have increase with only 55%.


In sharp contrast with falling emissions in Finland, Denmark and Sweden, Norway’s emissions have actually increased since 1990. After decades of support at levels below its neighbours, Norway has emerged as the largest funder of low-carbon RD&D in recent years due especially to two very large demonstration projects in CCS and aluminium smelting.


Nordregio’s State of the Nordic Region 2016 is a unique collection of comparative data and maps on economy, migration, employment, education, energy and accessibility in the Nordic countries – at regional level. The report includes a new Regional Potential Index, highlighting climbers and slow movers among the 74 regions of the Nordic countries. State of the Nordic Region is released biannually by Nordregio – Nordic Centre for Spatial Development.