Tromsø terminates friendship agreements with Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nadym

Tromsø's sister city agreement with Murmansk dates back to 1972.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - October 25, 2022
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Tromsø ends formal ties with its three Russian sister cities of Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nadym. (Thomas Nilsen / The Indpendent Barents Observer)

Tromsø Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen, together with politicians from other parties in northern Norway’s largest city, announced in a letter published in Nordlys that a final end has come to relations with Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nadym.

Tromsø froze relations with the three cities shortly after Russia’s brutal military attack on Ukraine in February. Now, the agreements are to be formally terminated.

“We believed in our friendship. That people, who come together across borders, cultures and languages can look each other in the eye and see themselves there. That we all have the basic needs for security, freedom and democratically elected leaders,” the letter reads.

Tromsø, which signed its sister city agreement with Murmansk in 1972, is not the first to cut its ties with Murmansk, Russia’s largest city above the Arctic Circle. In March this year, Rovaniemi city council agreed to end the collaboration that had been going on since the first cooperation agreement was signed back in 1965.

Simultaneously as Rovaniemi decided to freeze friendship with Murmansk, the city council decided to donate €1 per citizen to help with the situation in Ukraine and set an example to other municipalities in the area, in total €64,240. In addition, the council decided to donate their meeting fees, which brought the sum up to €70,240.

A statue of Lenin in front of the regional Duma in Arkhangelsk. That city’s sister city agreement with Tromsø is now parked in the history books. (Thomas Nilsen / The Independent Barents Observer)