Lavrov sees no desire on the part of Norway to cooperate in managing Svalbard

Lavrov sees no desire on the part of Norway to cooperate in managing Svalbard

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that there were problems concerning the shared use of the Svalbard Archipelago, Interfax reports.

"We believe that the situation with our cooperation on the archipelago could be much more constructive. We believe that all parties must comply with the provisions of the Svalbard Treaty," Lavrov said during a news conference in Arkhangelsk. He said that problems arise with neighbors when requesting authorization for flights of the Arctikugol helicopters as well as sending research expeditions to the archipelago.

"We believe the authorisation provision contradicts the Svalbard Treaty," Lavrov said.

Russia has sent several official notes to the Norwegian colleagues, asking them to respond to our concerns and to explain how they can be laid to rest.

"Unfortunately we have not received any reply to these notes. We see no desire on the part of our Norwegian colleagues to cover their part of the road or at least to launch a dialogue," the minister added.

In return, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said that Norway is acting in compliance with every provision of the Svalbard Treaty.

"Let me say that within the framework of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council we are concentrating on the matters that unite us," he said.

"Speaking about the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway is acting in compliance with every single provision of the Svalbard Treaty. We have a vision that we are committed to, namely, we would like Svalbard to be the most manageable archipelago in the Arctic as well as the best in environmental terms too," the minister noted.