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Norway denies blocking access to Russia's Arctic Archipelago

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OSLO — Norway Norway does not block Russia's access to the Arctic Svalbard Islands, only applies international sanctions, and Russia has other means of reaching its settlements, Norway. The country's foreign minister told Reuters.

Russia accused Norway of obstructing the delivery of important supplies on Wednesday and retaliated against Oslo over access to Svalbard on the grounds of unspecified "retaliation" unless the problem was resolved. Threatened.

The Svalbard Islands, halfway between Norway's north coast and the Arctic, are part of Norway, but Russia has the right to use the natural resources of the archipelago under the 1920 Treaty, where Most of the villages are inhabited by Russians.

In NATO member Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but applies EU sanctions to Russia, the sanctions do not affect sea transport to Svalbard. Said.

However, much of the cargo to Russian settlements in the archipelago first crosses the mainland Russian-Norwegian border, where licensed goods are closed.

"Norway has not broken the Svalbard Treaty," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Aniken Whitfeld.

"Cargo suspended at the Norwegian-Russian border has been suspended under sanctions prohibiting Russian road carriers from transporting goods on Norwegian territory."

"Norway is not trying to prevent goods from reaching Valentsburg," she added, referring to Russia's major Russian settlements that utilize coal mines.

According to the Norwegian Bureau of Statistics, about 378 people, mainly Russians and Ukrainians, live in Pyramiden, another Russian settlement in Barentsburg and the Svalbard Islands. I'm out.

She added that Russia could deliver supplies in other ways, not only by road, but by ship or plane.

Norway has applied most international sanctions, but has not closed the port to Russian fishing vessels, the lifeline of the Arctic Norwegian port.

The Governor of Svalbard also said that he was in close contact with the residents of Barentsburg, and that everyone had access to food and medicine.

"The situation is rated normal," she said. (Report by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, edited by Tomasz Janowski)