Norway will not give away mountain peak

Finnish and Norwegian border poles. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Finnish and Norwegian border poles. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Norway refuses to give Finland what could have been the country’s highest mountain peak.

A campaign in Norway to give neighbouring Finland the peak of Halti mountain in Lapland as a birthday present, to mark hundred years of Finnish independence, has ended without success.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg writes in a letter to Mayor of Kåfjord municipality in northern Norway that the idea was creative, but there are several reasons why Norway can’t move its border.

“For several reasons, I believe it is not desirable to change the border as suggested. Border adjustments between countries rise challenging legal questions, for instance related to the Norwegian Constitution,” Erna Solberg writes in the letter.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Constitutional questions

It was locals in Kåfjord that started the Facebook campaign aimed at adjusting the border a few metres so Halti mountain peak would be on the Finnish side. The Facebook site has so far gathered more than 17,000 likes.

Halti’s peak is 1,331 meters above sea level. The highest point in Finland is a little way down the mountainside at the border, located 1,324 metres above sea level. Shifting the border 40 meters would ensure Finland could lay claim to the top of the mountain.

“The peak would be a wonderful gift to our sister nation,” said Svein Leiros of Kåfjord municipality in the spring.

Norway’s constitution says that the country is indivisible so no part can be split off. Not even the few metres in question on the northern border with Finland.

“We will instead consider another suitable gift to Finland on its anniversary,” Solberg writes.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  New national park planned in Canada’s High Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Arctic parks among most visited in Finland, Yle News

Norway:  Norway PM to consider offering Arctic mountain to Finland, Yle News

Russia:  Russian environmentalists want park status for Arctic island, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Study finds bird declines in mountains of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Alaska Dispatch News

United States:  Arctic remains refuge of friendly US-Russia relations, Alaska Dispatch News





Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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