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Home* News and Stories → Sanc­tions will hit Barents­burg

Sanc­tions will hit Barents­burg

The inter­na­tio­nal sanc­tions intro­du­ced by many count­ries as a reac­tion to the Rus­si­an war of aggres­si­on and exter­mi­na­ti­on against the Ukrai­ne will also hit the Rus­si­an north inclu­ding Barents­burg.

Mur­mansk is Russia’s most important har­bour for coal export. Accor­ding to Barents Obser­ver, years of signi­fi­cant growth resul­ted in export of more than 16 mil­li­on tons in 2019. Most of the coal was expor­ted to the EU – main­ly Ger­ma­ny – the UK and Isra­el. The growth led to plans for a new coal har­bour in Lav­na on the Kola pen­in­su­la. The cur­rent deve­lo­p­ment invol­ves major ques­ti­on­marks for this pro­ject.

Com­pared to the Mur­mansk exports, coal pro­duc­tion in and ship­ping from Barents­burg is small, and irrele­vant to the world mar­ket. A bit more than 100,000 tons are pro­du­ced annu­al­ly in Barents­burg, of which some­thing near 30,000 tons are used in the local coal power plant and the rest is for export. The­se exports are glo­bal­ly insi­gni­fi­cant, but nevert­hel­ess important for Barents­burg in terms of eco­no­my and jobs. Of near 400 inha­bi­tants, around 150 are working in the coal mine, inclu­ding many Ukrai­ni­ans.

Coal mining, Barentsburg

Coal sto­rage and indus­try rela­ted to coal mining in Barents­burg: inter­na­tio­nal sanc­tions will hit here as well.

Coal from Barents­burg was main­ly sold to the UK in recent years, but it appears very unli­kely that the United King­dom will con­ti­nue this trade. This would sever­ely dama­ge a major part of Barentsburg’s eco­no­mic­al foun­da­ti­on. Tou­rism has been deve­lo­ped in Barents­burg in recent years, but this indus­tri­al sec­tor has lar­ge­ly col­lap­sed during the last two years becau­se of the pan­de­mic and now becau­se of the war and asso­cia­ted sanc­tions, lea­ving coal mining as the only indus­try in Barents­burg.

Irri­ta­ting inter­view of the Rus­si­an con­sul in Barents­burg

Last week – befo­re the pic­tures of the cruel­ties in But­cha went around the world – the Rus­si­an con­sul in Barents­burg irri­ta­ted the public with an inter­view with Nor­we­gi­an media (nettavisen.no) say­ing the images of the exten­si­ve des­truc­tions in Mariu­pol were in some cases staged and in other cases fake. He cal­led wes­tern media “fake news”, espe­ci­al­ly refer­ring to Nor­we­gi­an media, while pre­ten­ding that Rus­si­an infor­ma­ti­on is true. The artic­le by net­ta­vi­sen is Nor­we­gi­an, but near the end it includes a video of the inter­view with the con­sul in Eng­lish.

The inha­bi­tants of Barents­burg seem to avo­id poli­ti­cal dis­cus­sions both among­st each other and with media, as NRK found out during a visit to the sett­le­ment.

Cha­ri­ty: a heart for the Ukrai­ne – hand­ma­de in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

As a cha­ri­ty, you can buy a pin in the shape a heart in the colours of the Ukrai­ne in the spitsbergen-svalbard.com web­shop. The pins are hand­ma­de in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and the enti­re returns are cha­ri­ty for vic­tims of the Rus­si­an war against the Ukrai­ne. Click here for more infor­ma­ti­on.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the title “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2022-04-08 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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