MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Norway’s refusal to allow the transit of Russian goods to the island of Spitsbergen violates human rights and the principles of humanity, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Wednesday.
"It is about food for Russian miners working in that settlement. By making such a decision, the Norwegian authorities seek to leave Russian miners without food, which is totally immoral. It violates human rights and the principles of humanity," the senator wrote on Telegram.
Kosachev pointed out the international status of the Svalbard archipelago was determined by the 1920 Svalbard Treaty signed by Norway, the United States, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden, which had taken effect in 1925 and remained legally binding for 46 countries. "The Soviet Union joined the document on May 7, 1935, and Russia is participating in it as the successor to the Soviet Union. The parties recognized Norway’s full and absolute sovereignty over the archipelago on terms determined by the Svalbard Treaty," Kosachev noted. According to him, Norway’s actions run counter to Oslo’s international obligations under the treaty.
Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrey Klishas, in turn, wrote on Telegram that "given Norway’s actions, the country’s sovereignty over Spitsbergen is now questionable." He stressed that Russian nationals on Spitsbergen should be provided with the necessary supplies and their safety should be fully guaranteed.
Norway’s NRK broadcaster reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s Foreign Ministry, that Oslo had refused to allow the transit of goods to Russian settlements on Spitsbergen through the Storskog border checkpoint, rejecting Russia’s request to exclude them from the current sanctions. According to the media outlet, the Russian Embassy in Oslo had requested permission for the transit of food products to Russia’s Barentsburg mining settlement on Spitsbergen on behalf of the Arktikugol company.