The different Norwegian High North Policies (first 2005, second 2011) initially led to highly positive regional developments and cooperation, especially between Oslo and Moscow. However, and because of geopolitical changes such as Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the subsequent tensions and sanctions; Oslo’s interest in they initially perceived as a highly promising territory decreased [source] [source].
Norway adopted its third Arctic Policy in 2020. This policy is based on Oslo’s traditional idea and needs to balance relations between the US and its Russian neighbor. However, in the last years the “Arctic context” is characterised by a greater prominence of security aspects and an increasing power competition. Indeed, the recent major heightening of geopolitical tensions between US and NATO, and Russia as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian War threatens the relatively peaceful environment that traditionally characterises the Arctic region [source] [source].
Despite this relatively critical and tense situation, and the estimated increase of US and NATO presence in the Arctic and in Norway’s High North sovereign territory. it is highly likely that Oslo will seek to de-escalate the situation and continue with its “balancing strategy”.