Norway demands explanations from the Russian authorities over the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to Norwegian Svalbard (Spitsbergen) archipelago. Rogozin, who is on Oslo’s black list, responded to Norway’s protests in a tweet: “The bus is gone.”
In March 2014, Norway’s Foreign Ministry blacklisted Rogozin as a person who, as Oslo claims, “violates or threatens to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.” Everyone on Oslo’ list of sanctions is barred from entering Norway, according to vg.no.
Rogozin informed his followers on Twitter about the arrival at the archipelago on April 18. “We arrived in Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen,” the deputy prime minister said and posted a photo. He visited also Barentsburg, the second largest populated area on the archipelago. “Barentsburg. Arktikugol company. Russian and Ukrainian miners live here as one nation, united by the same faith &work,” Rogozin wrote. On April 29, Rogozin footed in the North Pole and made a relevant post on Twitter: “North Pole. Our Station-2015. Anniversary of the "Battle on the Ice" on Lake Chudskoe. But it's all quiet&as planned)”
According to the local media, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry had not been informed of the Russian official’s “tour of Spitzbergen,” Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said that sanctioned Russian officials were "not wanted" in the area. While the Norwegian officials were contacting the Russian authorities, Rogozin left the territory of Norway.
Talking to the Norway Telegraph Bureau Andersen said: “This fact is not a breach of the Norwegian legislation but we nonetheless clearly informed the Russian embassy in Oslo before than we would not want to see the persons from the list on the Svalbard [Spitsbergen] archipelago." At present, he said, Norwegian authorities are considering measures to reinforce entry bans.
To recap, the Russian deputy prime minister heads the state Committee for Arctic Development. He arrived in Spitsbergen on April 19 to launch the North Pole expedition. He opened the North Pole-2015 Arctic drifting station.