Launching mutually beneficial Ukrainian-Norwegian cooperation in the Arctic was one of the main topics of Ambassador of Ukraine to Norway H.E. Mr Viacheslav Yatsiuk’s working visit to the Svalbard archipelago, which took place on 12-14 June 2019.
The issues of practical cooperation in polar and space research as well as in other areas were discussed during the Ambassador’s meetings with Managing Director of the University Center in Svalbard Mr Harald Ellingsen, International Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute Mr Kim Holman, Director of the Svalbard Satellite Station Mr Ole Peter Storstad , and with Director of the Norwegian company Kings Bay Mr Per Erik Hanevold, who administers the Ny-Ålesund Research Station.
Viacheslav Yatsiuk also visited Svalbard's Incoherent Scatter Radar System of the EISCAT international scientific association, which was built with involvement of Ukrainian scientists. Ukraine is one of the affiliated members of EISCAT, organization that conducts geocosmic researches, in particular, on the interaction between the Sun and the Earth. Representatives of EISCAT have highlighted Ukraine’s contribution to relevant scientific research.
Within the framework of the visit, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Norway had meetings with Governor of Svalbard Ms Kjerstin Askholt, and with the Local Government of Longyearbyen, the administrative center of the Svalbard archipelago. Particular attention during these meetings was paid to the issues of ensuring rights and interests of more than 400 Ukrainian citizens temporarily residing in Svalbard. During a meeting with the Governor of Svalbard, Viacheslav Yatsiuk stressed the interest of the Ukrainian side in establishing an effective mechanism of communication between the Embassy of Ukraine in Norway and the citizens of Ukraine working for the Russian company "Arktikugol" in Barentsburg. Ambassador of Ukraine to Norway handed over a set of Ukrainian books to Ukrainians working in Barentsburg. Selection of works by contemporary Ukrainian authors and literature about Ukraine in English were also handed over to the Longyearbyen Public Library and the library of the University of Svalbard.
Another important event of the Ambassador’s working visit to Svalbard was his meeting with the citizens of Ukraine working in Longyearbyen. During the meeting, Viacheslav Yatsiuk confirmed that the Embassy of Ukraine in Norway is strongly committed to paying due attention to protecting the rights and interests of Ukrainian citizens in Svalbard.
During his stay at Longyearbyen, the Ukrainian diplomat honored the memory of the victims of the TU-154 plane crash at Svalbard in 1996, as a large part of the passengers were citizens of Ukraine.