Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
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Mustapaita
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Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
This sounded like bs from the start. If anyone, its NATO member Turkey that is blackmailing Europe with refugees. And they're also one of the main culprits of the Syrian-Iraqi crisis. I wish our media was as critical towards that as towards refugees taking the easier, safer and cheaper route through Russia...

Quote:Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway

It’s much quieter now at the border between Norway and Russia, and two senior researchers at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway are dismissing accusations that Russian authorities were behind last year’s disruptive influx of asylum seekers over it. They don’t think the Russians were intentionally trying to destabilize Norway in an act of so-called “hybrid war,” but the researchers were quickly challenged by a panel of critics.

Arild Moe was introduced as an “expert” on Russia when he summarized, at a panel debate in Oslo on Wednesday, the results of a probe he conducted along with colleague Lars Rowe of the allegations against Russia. The two researchers’ conclusions were just published in a lengthy article in the online journal Nordisk Østforum (external link, mostly in Norwegian).

Moe and Rowe looked into whether Russian authorities deliberately channelled migrants towards their country’s far northern border to Norway as part of the “hybrid warfare” (targeted non-military attacks) Russia is suspected of waging elsewhere. Over the past several months, Russian authorities also have been accused of supporting hackers, spreading false rumours and manufacturing news, and even backing far right-wing organizations in various countries, not least Germany. Russia’s alleged goal, reported Oslo newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend, is to destabilize key western countries and even pit them against each other. In Norway’s case, Russia has been suspected of exploiting the refugee crisis to punish Norway for going along with sanctions against Russia and for being an active member of NATO.

The key question in last fall’s refugee influx over the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog was how so many people with unclear national origins could have been allowed into Russia’s border zone, which runs for a width of around 15 kilometers along the border to Norway. “Everyone knows the border zone in Russia is very senstive,” Moe said the “academic breakfast meeting” Wednesday held at publishing firm Cappelen Damm. The meeting was co-organized by Nordisk Østforum, the Norwegian foreign policy institute NUPI and NOASP (Nordic Open Access Scholarly Publishing).

Yet in the space of less than three months, 5,500 migrants gathered in and passed through Russia’s border zone, a highly militarized area long thought to be under the strict control of Russian authorities. They famously rode over the border to Norway on bicycles, in accordance with local regulations that forbid walking over it.

Moe and Rowe argue, however, that having so many people in the area was “not desirable” for the Russians and that it’s unlikely they sent them or encouraged them to travel to the border area. Moe contends that the Norwegians have more likely thought that border control on the Russian side was much stricter than it really is. He also cited research showing that the Russians themselves had asked the Norwegians back in 2012 to tighten control of border crossings, by producing a letter to be given to migrants that they’d be denied entry to Norway without a visa to Europe’s Schengen region (of which Norway is a part and within which borders are open). The Norwegian government, headed by the Labour Party at the time, refused.

Moe conceded that many Russians surely exploited the migrants’ rush to the border, earning money by providing them with everything from taxi rides to bicycles, and that some officials in a country where corruption is a problem probably also earned money by issuing visas. That doesn’t mean Russia initiated the refugee influx in the north, however, according to Moe.

He and Rowe believe the influx instead resulted mostly by word-of-mouth among the migrants themselves, who viewed the so-called “Arctic Route” as both cheaper and far less risky than crossing the Mediterranean in a small boat. And while some believe Russia tried to pit Norway against Finland, which initially was spared an influx of asylum seekers along its border to Russia, the same situation later flared along Finland’s border, too, leaving both Norway and Finland in the same boat.

A panel comprised of two journalists and another researcher at the FAFO foundaton in Oslo criticized Moe’s and Rowe’s findings. While they generally agreed that Russian authorities didn’t plant all the asylum seekers at Norway’s doorway, they claimed that Russia’s failure to quickly disperse them is significant. “Not acting is a form of acting,” claimed Kjell Dragnes, a former foreign editor at newspaper Aftenposten who ended up being accused of predictably “demonizing” Russia by a member of the audience. Dragnes argued that if the Russian authorities had wanted to halt the influx and disperse those congregating in the border zone, they would have. Guri Tyldum of FAFO also suggested the Russians opted to “close their eyes” to the influx and that another influx is probable.

Thomas Nilsen of the Independent Barents Observer based in Kirkenes, close to Norway’s border crossing with Russia, said that if anyone has firm control of their borders, it’s the Russians, and that they “can do exactly what they want” in the entire border zone area. Nilsen, who has crossed the border to Russia hundreds of times himself, said he had witnessed Russian border guards helping to screw bicycles together, and that when the influx of asylum seekers eventually ended, “it was the Russian authorities who stopped the traffic, not (new Immigration Minister) Sylvi Listhaug.”

One official from Norway’s state police directorate, who spent a lot of time around the border crossing at Storskog during last autumn’s crisis, called the Nansen Institute researchers’ conclusions “too thin,” while another member of the audience accused the researchers’ critics of “always blaming Russia” for conflicts. Asked what Norway can learn from last year’s refugee influx, Tyldum warned that waves of refugees are unpredictable and can roll over Norway again.

They all urged good relations between Russia and Norway and called on Russia to listen to its neighbours. Moe said he does not think another influx like the one through Storskog will re-occur. Both the Norwegians and the Russians eventually won control over the situation, and the Russians, Moe thinks, are likely glad Norway did tighten its borders after all.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

http://www.newsinenglish.no/2016/06/22/r...on-norway/

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2016 Sep 04 23:44
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
(2016 Sep 04 23:44)Mustapaita Wrote:  This sounded like bs from the start. If anyone, its NATO member Turkey that is blackmailing Europe with refugees. And they're also one of the main culprits of the Syrian-Iraqi crisis. I wish our media was as critical towards that as towards refugees taking the easier, safer and cheaper route through Russia...

When it comes to Turkey we share the effects of its monkey tricks with the rest of Europe. But when it comes to Russia we stand alone.
2016 Sep 09 11:30
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
Russia at this point is doing more to secure borders than Europe's respective governments are. With the intervention in Syria and their "talks" with Turkey the influx from the Arabian peninsula has almost been completely halted. At the same time the human trafficking business is going through the roof in Lybia, where the Americans and their lackeys are still officially involved without any results whatsoever.


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2016 Sep 09 12:37
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
Their intervention has caused more displacement, not less. Of course, were the Syrian state to collapse, we'd see a tidal wave. Nevertheless, the push towards Europe via Turkey continues despite EU agreements with Turkey. I don't see what interest Russia has in negotiating with the Turks to lessen refugee pressure on Europe? Is there any indication of this happening?

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2016 Sep 09 12:53
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
(2016 Sep 09 11:30)Kat Wrote:  When it comes to Turkey we share the effects of its monkey tricks with the rest of Europe. But when it comes to Russia we stand alone.

And we negotiated a temporary border agreement with Russia that effectively stopped the refugee flow. With all the might of Brussels and all the billions of tax payer euros, we can't do the same with Turkey. But only in one instance did the media speak of "hybrid warfare" and "putting pressure on Europe". In the case of Turkey, where those arguments might actually hold water - silence, nothing, nada. Why are you happy with this? Why do you defend this approach?

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2016 Sep 09 13:02
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
(2016 Sep 09 12:53)Mustapaita Wrote:  Their intervention has caused more displacement, not less.

I'm not sure whether this is true, unless we are talking of internal displacement. It would be the logical consequence of a bombing campaign, of course, but the government captured many areas where people could return to or flee from the jihadists. It's funny that the Americans are talking about creating safe zones for refugees in Syria, because the government held areas are the safe zones everyone who doesn't want to leave the country goes to.

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2016 Sep 09 14:23
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
Indeed, and western Europe should be grateful for the Russian intervention there. Instead they are still busy putting away all the debris stemming from their suppport of bloodlusting savages in order to get rid of Assad. In Libya the yankees are trying the same, but they won't ever get the genie back into the box again.


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2016 Sep 09 15:00
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
Quote:spreading false rumours and manufacturing news, and even backing far right-wing organizations in various countries, not least Germany.

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spreading false information - like how Putin's green manlets raped in Cologne to weaken EU?

http://www.shz.de/regionales/schleswig-h...07041.html

Which right-wing party is backed by Russia here? (Its the socialists which are pro-Russian)

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2016 Sep 09 16:15
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
(2016 Sep 09 13:02)Mustapaita Wrote:  
(2016 Sep 09 11:30)Kat Wrote:  When it comes to Turkey we share the effects of its monkey tricks with the rest of Europe. But when it comes to Russia we stand alone.

And we negotiated a temporary border agreement with Russia that effectively stopped the refugee flow. With all the might of Brussels and all the billions of tax payer euros, we can't do the same with Turkey. But only in one instance did the media speak of "hybrid warfare" and "putting pressure on Europe". In the case of Turkey, where those arguments might actually hold water - silence, nothing, nada. Why are you happy with this? Why do you defend this approach?

Where did I say I like Turkey? ??? What silence are you talking about? Media complain constantly that Turkey's blackmailing Europe with the refugees despite the agreement made with EU in March. And talking about wars, you'll have to admit that the risk of Finland being attacked by Russia is bigger than a similar attack from Turkey.
2016 Sep 09 19:32
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RE: Russia cleared of a ‘war’ on Norway
Where did I say you like Turkey? I said you were defending the way the media was handling the two subjects.

Quote:Media complain constantly that Turkey's blackmailing Europe with the refugees despite the agreement made with EU in March.

The way the handle it is quite different. When Russia, who wasn't actually doing anything intentionally by the looks of it, was being discussed, the tone was shrill and alarmist. When Turkey is discussed, there is a lot of nuance. No mentions of hybrid warfare or the like and not a whole lot of complaining, really. Not at all in the same finger-pointing fashion at least. May be because they want Turkey in the EU along with the refugees, I don't know. What I do know is that in one case it was bad bad Russia doing bad bad things and in the other case it's more factual reporting without the criticism and even omitting Turkey's machiavellian intentions.

The job of the media is not to make Russia a boogeyman, it's job is to tell us what is happening. In the case of Russia, they were shrill and making false assumptions. In the case of Turkey they don't report the extent of the cynical game Erdogan is playing with the refugees, not even mentioning his role in starting the crisis to begin with.

Quote:And talking about wars, you'll have to admit that the risk of Finland being attacked by Russia is bigger than a similar attack from Turkey.

More refugees have come to Finland via Turkey than via Russia. This is what we were talking about.

Quote:I'm not sure whether this is true, unless we are talking of internal displacement.

They are making many parts of Syria unlivable by bombing hospitals for example. It's clear that since the bombing is focused on Aleppo, Idlib and Hama that alot of people are going to head to Turkey from there.

Quote:but the government captured many areas where people could return to or flee from the jihadists. It's funny that the Americans are talking about creating safe zones for refugees in Syria, because the government held areas are the safe zones everyone who doesn't want to leave the country goes to.

Which areas? Government progress has been more about shoring up its defensive lines rather than taking large swathes of land. And in the process, even those small bits have been more or less demolished. Russia's role has been in ensuring that the state apparatus of government-held "useful Syria" hasn't collapsed and thus preventing a bigger tidal wave of refugees. But government advances have been small despite the Russian intevention and they've been achieved at great cost. I can't really think of any liberated areas where civilians would have flocked back in significant numbers. Palmyra, may be. But it's still very much a frontline city and I wonder if more people lived there under ISIS than now.

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2016 Sep 09 20:30
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