US announces to open its Station in Arctic Norway

OSLO: The U.S. will open its northernmost diplomatic station in the Norwegian Arctic town of Tromsoe, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday, at a time when cooperation among the Arctic nations has been hit by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The region is becoming strategically more important as a shrinking ice cap opens up new sea lanes and attracts other nations seeking its largely untapped natural resources.
“To deepen our own engagement in the high north, I am announcing today the United States will be opening an American presence post in Tromsoe,” Blinken told reporters after a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo.
“For us, the presence post in Tromsoe is really an ability to have a diplomatic footprint above the Arctic Circle,” he said.
The post would open “later this year” and would be staffed with one U.S. diplomat, the U.S. embassy in Oslo said in a statement, noting that the U.S. had an office in Tromsoe until 1994.
Blinken’s announcement comes three weeks after Norway took over from Russia the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a forum created in 1996 to discuss issues affecting the polar region. –Agencies