Norway asked to explain Rogozin`s visit to Svalbard

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The Norwegian authorities asked Russia for explanations regarding the visit of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to the Svalbard archipelago, Barents Observer reports, reminding that Rogozin is on the sanctions list of the EU and Norway due to the events in Ukraine.

"We have clearly expressed to the Russian Embassy in Oslo that listed people are not wanted on Svalbard," said the Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen.

The Norwegian diplomat noted that "it is regrettable that Rogozin stays at Svalbard, and we have asked Russian authorities for an explanation."

"It is still unclear how Rogozin traveled to Svalbard. He has likely arrived with a Russian charter aircraft directly to Longyearbyen airport. The Deputy Prime Minister travels together with Governor of the Nenets Autonomus Okrug, Igor Koshin. The governor’s press officer says that they are heading towards the North Pole after Svalbard," says the Barents Observer.

Deputy Prime Minister was very brief commenting on the claims of Norway. "It's easy to be wise after the event," he wrote in Twitter.

Earlier, Dmitry Rogozin arrived in the Arctic to open the station North Pole-2015. Deputy Prime Minister arrived in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard, and then visited the Russian settlement of Barentsburg.

"The Russian presence on Svalbard should be entrenched taking into account the attention that the President and the government pay to the Russian Arctic today. The main thing for us now is to see how our drifting station will be working. And the second important point is that we want to find out what kind of technologies are necessary for the exploration of the Arctic, whether it's arctic shipbuilding technologies, special or aviation equipment," Rogozin said to journalists on his arrival in Svalbard

The Svalbard archipelago, located in the Arctic Ocean, is the northernmost tip of Norway. According to the status of Svalbard, Russia has the right to undertake economic activity in the archipelago on equal terms with Norway. There is a Russian settlement of Barentsburg on the West Spitsbergen, as well as the settlements Pyramiden and Grumant.

Text and pictures by INTERFAX.RU