A Russian Arctic mining operation in the Svalbard Islands is facing shortages after Norwegian authorities held up over 20 tons of supplies in the port of Storskog, citing the EU sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine. The foreign ministry in Oslo acknowledged on Tuesday that the Russian application for a humanitarian exemption had been rejected.
The special permit application submitted by the Russian embassy and the mining company Arktikugol was rejected on June 15, the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK reported on Tuesday.
Arktikugol runs the mining town of Barentsburg, which is mainly inhabited by Russian nationals. The archipelago, about halfway between the Arctic circle and the north pole, has fewer than 3,000 residents and has been under Norwegian jurisdiction for about a century.
Norwegian laws apply in Barentsburg, even though its residents are Russians, Siri R. Svendsen of the foreign ministry told NRK. Therefore, she said, the cargo bound for the islands is subject to EU sanctions against Moscow.