Despite hundreds of migrants queuing up in the Murmansk region with a strong will to make it to Europe, Norwegian police authorities are unwilling to send a helicopter north for surveillance along the remote wilderness border in polar night and freezing cold.
"Our services came and picked them up,” a receptionist with the motel in Kandalaksha said when called by the Barents Observer on Tuesday. A few hours later, 41 migrants crossed the border to Finish Lapland at Salla checkpoint.
Thomas Nilsen is editor of the Independent Barents Observer with its news desk located in Kirkenes, northern Norway. He has a long experience in media cooperation across the borders in the high north of Europe, both as radio- and newspaper reporter all the way back to the days before the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Nilsen has been editor of Barents Observer since 2009.
He was Deputy Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat from 2004-2009. Until 2003, he worked 12 years for the Bellona Foundation’s Russian study group, focusing on nuclear safety issues and general environmental challenges in northern areas and the Arctic.
Thomas has been traveling extensively across northern Scandinavia and Arctic Russia since the late 80’s working for different media and organizations. He is also a guide at sea and in remote locations in the Russian north for various groups and regularly lectures on security issues, environmental and socio-economic development.
Thomas Nilsen studied at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.