With the escalation of Western sanctions, the name of a small Russian colony in the Arctic surfaced, which Norway is trying to cut off its vital routes and prevent Russian supplies to it. What kind of region is this?
Barentsburg is the second largest settlement in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean, with a population of 495 people in 2016, there is a Russian consulate.
Barentsburg got its name in honor of the famous navigator William Parmens, who visited the Svalbard archipelago between 1596 and 1597.
As for Svalbard, or what was known as “Svalbard”, it is a vast polar archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean, far north of Norway. The administrative center is the city of Longyearbyen. The archipelago and its surrounding coastal waters are considered a demilitarized zone.
According to 2017 statistics, the population of this archipelago was about 2,750 people, about a quarter of them were Russians working in the fields of mining and coal mining, and the largest proportion of them were Norwegians.
These islands were first used as a base for whaling ships in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, then abandoned thereafter, and then coal mining and permanent settlements were established on them in the early twentieth century.
Administratively, the archipelago does not belong to any Norwegian county, but is an unincorporated area governed by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government.
The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognized Norwegian sovereignty over the territory of the archipelago, and the Svalbard Act of 1925 made it a full part of the Kingdom of Norway Exploitation of the natural resources of the archipelago and its territorial waters.
In 1947, the Norwegian parliament recognized that the Soviet Union had special economic interests in Svalbard, and since 1991 these rights have been transferred to Russia.
This archipelago has a cold arctic climate, glaciers cover about 60% of its area, and the region is home to many seabirds, reindeer, foxes and polar bears.