In Solberg’s talks with Obama, a stress on Arctic cooperation
Along with Nordic colleagues, Norwegian Premier Erna Solberg last week set foot in the White House for the U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit. Among the wide range of issues discussed, relations with Russia and developments in the Arctic were key points.
Russian conduct in Ukraine and the country’s military build-up in the Baltics was strongly condemned. However, when in comes to the Arctic, the meeting participants first of all highlighted the need for stability and cooperative efforts.
«Our countries recognize the need for an appropriate dialogue with Russia to be maintained to enhance transparency and reduce risk, and to address issues of common concern [….]», the Joint Statement from the meeting reads.
The same message was highlighted in Solberg’s address delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Washington research and analysis organization.
«Given our geographical position, on NATO’s northern flank and as a neighbour to Russia, we have a special responsibility for ensuring stability in the High North. This is both in our own national interests and in the interests of the Alliance», the prime minister underlined.
«We have a long history of cooperating with Russia in the High North, even in times of political differences», she added.
In the speech, Solberg touched on the three top priorities of Norwegian defense and security policy; 1) the strengthening of NATO, 2) collective defence, and 3) cooperation and shared interest.
«Predictability is key, the prime minister maintained.
«A predictable military presence in the High North ensures stability [and] this is not solely a Norwegian responsibility».
«It is a matter for the Alliance as a whole. This is an area where NATO and Russian interests meet. As an Alliance, we all have an interest in keeping this area stable and peaceful,» Solberg said