The United States is opening a small diplomatic facility in Norway, which will be the northernmost of its kind in the world. It will also be the only one above the Arctic Circle. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken made the announcement on Thursday.
Blinken made the announcement at a press conference in Oslo, after attending a NATO meeting of foreign ministers. The competition between Russia and Norway over resources in the high north is intensifying.
Blinken announced that the U.S. will open what’s known as an “American Presence post” in Tromsoe. Tromsoe is located 217 miles north-northeast of the Arctic Circle. The post is expected to open in the second half of this year, and will be staffed with a U.S. consul.
Blinken told the Norwegian foreign minister, whose country was preparing to take over the Arctic Council’s chairmanship, based in Tromsoe, that “we’re here to collaborate with like-minded partners to advance our vision for a peaceful, cooperative and stable Arctic.”
Norway will assume the leadership of the eight-nation bloc of countries bordering the Arctic after the Russians have held the position for two years. During this time, the bloc has been largely ignored by the other members because of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
State Department maintained an office in Tromsoe up until 1994, but it was closed in a reorganization of diplomatic facilities following the end of Cold War.
U.S. Ambassador Marc Nathanson said in a statement that the United States was a proud Arctic State and took its role as steward of this region very seriously. In a press release, Ambassador Marc Nathanson stated that the United States is a proud Arctic state and takes its role as one of the region’s stewards very seriously.
Anniken Huitfeldt, Norwegian Foreign Minister, said that Norway and the U.S. have a “long history of proud collaboration” on Arctic issues.
She said: “I am pleased that the U.S. is planning to establish a Presence Post at Tromsoe in this year. I’m sure it will strengthen our close collaboration.”