Expert Russia: We’re back in the cold war

MUNICH / OSLO — Strong expressions and tensions with Russia. So many experts characterize the attack on the Russian Embassy in address the Norwegian authorities.

“We were expecting that. Russia increases tensions in military terms, and in terms of rhetoric, they’ve been doing this for quite some time. It’s the same crying, sounded from tsarist Russia and the USSR: the fact that the Russian aggression is to blame the West,” says researcher Norwegian Institute of international Affairs (NUPI), Iver Neumann (Iver Neumann).

On Friday morning, the Russian Embassy sent a comment to the press in which they criticized the Norwegian authorities. The Embassy believes that cooperation with Russia, Norway has taken a selective approach: “here cooperate, but not here.” The Embassy also criticized the Norwegian media, it considers that is predominantly negative.

“This should not be contagious”

Neuman believes that this signal contributes to the deterioration of relations between Norway and Russia.

“It is absolutely clear deterioration. This lower limit is the same as during the cold war, and it concerns relations to Russia as well as Norway and the West in General.”

The expert believes that Norway should now be calm.

“We must remain calm and act exactly like and acted. And we need to ensure that authoritarian social model of Russia does not spread to us. We are right back again where you were during the cold war, when we had to apply the so-called policy of “containment”: to keep in order his own house in order to resist Russian encroachments,” he says.

In the second half of the day on Friday, it became clear that the Minister of foreign Affairs børge Brende will take part in a conference on the Arctic in the Russian Arkhangelsk in March. This will be his first visit to the country after 2014.

On Thursday, the Brand was found in Germany with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. At the same time, agreement was reached on the visit of the Brand in Russia.

“Undiplomatic language”

“The Russian Embassy has presented a well-known point of view on European security policy in NATO. For example, the Norwegian and European views on Russia’s violation of international law in Ukraine, it is well-known and brought to the attention of the Russian authorities”, — says head of Department on public relations of the foreign Ministry, Frode Andersen (Frode Overland Andersen) in the email.

He emphasizes that the Norwegian side’s emphasis on constructive and predictable bilateral cooperation with Russia, and indicates that between Norway and Russia are regularly held discussions on the political level and at the level of senior officials.

Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of foreign policy Godzimirski Jakub (Jakub Godzimirski) believes, however, that the text circulated by the Embassy, couched in very strong terms.

“After what happened, this positioning seems very one-sided. The language and tone indicate that there is a diplomatic language was not used, then immediately getting down to business”, — he said.

Godzimirski believes that the reason for the hard line on the part of Russia lies in the fact that in recent weeks Russia, Norway has become the object of very negative attention.

“We’re talking about some of the features characterizing development of the situation, which may have caused resentment at the Embassy. First, the Russian intervention in elections in the United States, then on the assessment of the security threat made by the police security Service and the intelligence Service, where Russia is called as a possible threat,” he explains.

They want to appeal to people

Godzimirski adds that the case when the Grand Trine (the Left party) and Bordo Solely (Sotsialistichesky Left party) refused to grant entry visas to Russia on the eve of a trip to the country of the relevant Committee of the Storting may have been the last straw.

“It brought him more negative attention, that’s the Embassy and chose to respond in not the most constructive way,” he says.

The expert believes that the relationship between Norway and Russia are and will be asymmetrical, and refers to the fact that Russia wants to play the role of a superpower, and little Norway should sharply contrast with the neighbor. According to Godzimirski, it could harm Norway.

“When assessing threats, pay attention to two things: the ability of parties to harm and her intentions. In 2014, Russia has demonstrated that it has not only the capacity but also the intention to use military force in order to get what she wants,” he says and refers to the annexation of the Crimea three years ago.

Godzimirski believes that Russia is sending such statements to the press, trying to reach out to people.

“It is addressed to the Norwegian authorities, but is also designed for Norwegian audiences, which, in the opinion of Russia, misled by experts, the media and politicians”.

Andersen of the foreign Ministry emphasizes that the Russian authorities are aware of the protests of Norway in connection with the refusal of visas the Grand Trine and Bordo Solely a few weeks ago.

“As for the refusal of entry to Russia, Norway repeatedly expressed their protest in Moscow and Oslo. Our protest in connection with this solution well-known to the Russian authorities,” he writes.