Lavrov: Russia has difficulties sharing its northern territories with Norway

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov indicated that there were problems with the Norwegian authorities on sharing the Svalbard archipelago, Interfax reports.

"Of course, we believe that the situation around our interaction in the archipelago could be more constructive. We support ensuring the items of the treaty on Spitsbergen, that they should be strictly observed by its all participants," Lavrov said.

According to the Minister, "sometimes we have problems with our Norwegian neighbors, including the restrictions on the Arctic-Coal Trust helicopters, regarding the licensing procedure for scientific research."

"Such permissive requirements do not fit, in our estimation, into the provisions of the treaty on Spitsbergen," the Minister of Foreign Affairs added.

He noted that several times Russia had addressed “Norwegian colleagues with the request to explain the concerns, ways to overcome these concerns."

"Unfortunately, there has been no response so far. We don’t see any actions from our Norwegian colleagues that would merit a dialogue on these issues," Lavrov concluded.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that holding NATO Parliamentary Assembly activities in Spitsbergen could be regarded as provocation.

  Russia, Lavrov, Norway