The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to provide NOK 105 million over a five-year period to the Research Council of Norway’s programme on Russia and international relations in the High North/Arctic (NORRUSS). “Our intention is to enhance knowledge about Russia and the High North. These are key areas in Norwegian foreign policy, and we need to have up-to-date information at all times if we are to be able to develop sound policies,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.
Norway aims to be a leader in the field of knowledge about the High North and Russia. Over a period of five years, a total of NOK 105 million will be divided as follows: NOK 45 million to research on Russia, NOK 45 million to research on the High North, and NOK 15 million to studies that assess the implications of the increased Asian interest in the High North. The funds will be channelled through the Research Council.
“We need to understand social development in Russia, as this also has an impact on Russian foreign policy and Russia’s cooperation with Norway,” Mr Støre said.
Due to increased international interest and improved access to resources as a result of climate change, the High North has become an important foreign policy concern for many countries and actors. Knowledge and research on these issues are therefore crucial for the development of Norwegian policy. The Government’s aim is to ensure that Norway is a leader in the field of knowledge in and about the High North.
“When developing our High North policy, we attach importance to cooperating closely with our research groups,” Mr Støre said.
The NORRUSS programme will have a special focus on the significance of Asia for the High North.
“Countries in Asia are becoming increasingly involved in the High North. This means that we need better knowledge about Asian countries’ interests in the Arctic, in terms of security policy, energy, polar and climate research and new transport corridors,” Mr Støre said.