Soviet-Norwegian Contacts on Svalbard During the Cold War
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Soviet-Norwegian Contacts on Svalbard During the Cold War
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Aleksandr Porcel 
Affiliation: Murmansk State Technical University
Address: Russian Federation, Murmansk

In 1920 Spitsbergen was given under Norwegian sovereignty after the Paris agreement. According to this agreement all its member states had freedom of economic, scientific and other non-military activities here. Since 1931, the “Arktikugol” Trust has been producing coal on Svalbard. Large settlements with a permanent population — Norwegian and Soviet were founded. There was a unique situation: next to each other were large groups of the population of the two countries, representing various socio-economic and political systems, and, in addition, included in the opposing military blocs — NATO and Warsaw Pact. In the conditions of the Arctic archipelago, where for a long time of the year communication with the mainland was maintained only by radio, contacts between Soviet miners and Norwegians were inevitable. During the Cold War these contacts did not stop despite the tense relations between the USSR and Norway. The traditions of peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness that prevailed on Svalbard in the pre-war years continued despite Norway joining NATO and a number of political crises in Europe. Such situation generally preserved up to the collapse of the USSR. The paper shortly describes the contacts between Soviet and Norwegian representatives on Spitsbergen on the official and domestic levels during the Cold war. The paper is based on archive documents and materials of the “Arcticugol” department media.

Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Cold War, USSR, Norway, “Arcticugol”, “Store Noske”, Barentsburg, Longyer
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