(Sputnik) – “The heads of governments noted the importance of strengthening of practical cooperation in the Arctic region and underscored the mutual interest in the development of the Russian-Norwegian relations,” the statement said.
The phone talk took place in connection with the missing Russian helicopter Mi-8, the wreckage of which was found on Sunday in the waters near the settlement of Barentsburg, the second-largest settlement on Svalbard archipelago.
Erna Solberg expressed condolences to her Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in connection with Russians citizens having died in the crash, the press service of Medvedev’s cabinet said Sunday in a statement.
Earlier in the day, an Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Emergencies Ministry with rescuers and necessary equipment landed in Norway’s Svalbard airport to assist in the search for the helicopter. The Russian consul general in the town of Barentsburg told Sputnik that Mi-8 may have carried out an emergency landing.
Spitsbergen is Norway’s territory but under the 1920 Treaty of Paris, the countries that signed the agreement can exploit the resources of the archipelago. Russia operated a mine in the archipelago and has several inhabited settlements there, including Pyramida and Barentsburg.