Neighbouring Norway not on President Putin’s New Year’s best wishes list

Russian President Vladimir Putin during his address for the new year 2021. (Photo: Kremlin)

The Russian president sends greetings to 36 countries and state leaders. Nordic neighbors Sweden and Finland are both on the list.

The Kremlin on the 30th of December issued greetings with best wishes for the new year to a big number of governments and state leaders. But not all countries are getting a salute from the Russian president.

On the list of 36 countries is not Norway, the neighboring country that shares a 198 km long far northern land border with Russia. The two countries share vast waters in the Barents Sea.

The new Norwegian government has made clear that it aims for an intensification of political dialogue with Russia. The policy document issued as the government took office in November underlines that “bilateral cooperation with Russia is to be further developed,” with emphasis on ocean resources, climate and coastal-related issues in the Barents Sea and the Arctic.

It also says that “new cooperation initiatives will be taken in relations with the neighboring countries,” and that “common meeting points” for foreign policy and security dialogue will be established.

Meanwhile, both Sweden and Finland are among the countries greeted by the Russian president.

In his message to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, Putin highlights that the bilateral relationship has a constructive and good-neighborly character.

“The Head of the Russian state also expresses hope for a continuation of the joint work on key issues on the bilateral and international agenda,” the Kremlin informs.

In his greeting to Sweden’s new Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Putin expresses hope for constructive development of bilateral political dialogue and that issues of trade, economic relations and humanitarian relations meet key interests of both countries.

Among the recipients of Putin’s new year greetings are also key European countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy. He also greets several international organizations, among them UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres, as well as leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, IOC, FIFA, UEFA and the International Judo Federation.

However, the EU is not among the ones greeted. Neither are neighboring countries, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And of course not Ukraine.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Joe Savikataaq reflects on COVID-19, ransomware and 3 years as premier of Nunavut, Canada, CBC News

Finland: With cooperative spirit, Finland targets Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Greenland: Greenland seeks to boost profile in China with new Beijing office, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Nordics should aim for common approach to China’s Arctic involvement says report, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian army starts training with anti-tank mines near Russia border, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Moscow to boost Svalbard presence as part of hybrid-strategy, expert warns, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Nordic countries discuss post-pandemic reset for emergency & crisis cooperation, Radio Sweden

United States: Interior Department report calls for higher oil and gas royalties, Alaska senator Murkowski objects, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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