Russia and Norway agree to resolve dispute over transit through Svalbard

Russian and Norwegian officials said they had settled a dispute over coal supplies to the Svalbard archipelago.

Moscow has accused Olso of blocking food supplies to Russian miners in the Arctic region via mainland Norway.

The dispute has led to a week of tension between the Kremlin and Oslo amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and EU sanctions.

But the Russian consul in Spitsbergen, Sergei Gushkin, said that now the Norwegian carriers have agreed to pick up the disputed cargo and cross the border with it.

“All these days there has been close contact between the foreign ministries of Russia and Norway,” he said on Russian television. “The situation has been resolved, a workaround has been found.”

It is expected that the goods will be delivered to the village of Barentsburg by sea on Friday, Gushkin added.

A Norwegian government spokesman told AFP that the decision “is not a step backwards” and was made after “good dialogue” with Russia.

Last month, local Norwegian authorities reportedly barred 20 tons of Russian goods from the land border between the two countries.

Just a few hours later, a cyberattack attributed to a “criminal pro-Russian gang” temporarily disabled public and private websites in Norway.

It comes just days after a similar attack on websites in Lithuania amid a dispute over the transit of goods through the EU to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.