Diplomatic relations were formally established between the USSR and Norway between Feb. 15 and Mar. 10, 1924. A temporary agreement of Sept. 2, 1921, had established economic relations, marking the de facto recognition of the Soviet government by Norway. A treaty on trade and navigation was concluded on Dec. 15, 1925. As a result of the invasion of Norway carried out by fascist Germany (April-June 1940), diplomatic relations were broken off; however the USSR resumed relations with the Norwegian government-in-exile on Aug. 5, 1941.
An agreement on civil administration and jurisdiction in Norway after its liberation on May 16, 1944, was put into effect in October 1944, when the Soviet Army liberated part of northern Norway. The two countries concluded agreements on the opening of telegraph and telephone lines and on the exchange of parcel post (Feb. 11, 1947) and a treaty on border regulations and procedures for settling border disputes (Dec. 29, 1949).
Soviet-Norwegian relations deteriorated during the cold war, when Norway became a member of NATO (April 1949); however, they were normalized as a result of Soviet efforts. In a communique of Nov. 16, 1955, both countries stated their desire to develop friendly relations, promote economic and cultural ties, and ease international tension. The Norwegian government assured the Soviet Union that it would not permit other governments to establish military bases on its territory, except in the case of attack or danger of attack. Agreements were concluded on air transportation (Mar. 31, 1956), on cultural cooperation (Oct. 12, 1956), on cooperation in rescuing and searching for survivors in the Barents Sea (Oct. 19, 1956), and on the maritime boundary in Varangerfjord (Feb. 15, 1957).
Other agreements were signed on measures for the regulation of seal hunting and the preservation of the seal population in the northeastern Atlantic (Nov. 22, 1957), on the utilization of water resources of the Pasvikelva River (Dec. 18, 1957), on measures for the regulation of claims related to damage of fishing equipment (Dec. 9, 1959), and on fishing (Apr. 16, 1962). The countries also signed agreements on payments (Jan. 29, 1965) and on air transportation (memorandum; Feb. 11, 1971), as well as a long-term trade agreement (June 18, 1971).
In a communique of Dec. 7, 1971, the USSR and Norway stated that their positions on many international issues corresponded exactly or quite closely. Both countries expressed the desire to develop friendly relations and agreed to hold periodic consultations. Norway declared its intention to build a civilian airport on Spitsbergen and confirmed that it would not be used for military purposes or to threaten the security of any country. On Dec. 7, 1971, the two countries concluded an agreement on the regulation and conservation of fish reserves in the Jakobselv and Pasvikelva rivers, located on the Soviet border, as well as a consular convention and a program of cultural and scientific cooperation for 1972 and 1973.
The USSR and Norway also signed an agreement on economic, industrial, scientific, and technical cooperation (May 19, 1972), which provided for the creation of a joint commission, and agreements on the use of the Norwegian civil airport on Spitsbergen by Soviet planes (Mar. 7, 1974), on cooperation in radio and television broadcasting (Apr. 25, 1974), and on international highway service (Dec. 13, 1974). A communique of Mar. 26, 1974, noted the Norwegian government’s faithfulness to its policy of not permitting foreign bases or nuclear weapons on its territory. Both countries noted the traditionally friendly nature of their relations and expressed their readiness to expand cooperation in various fields, including the protection of the environment. An agreement on cooperation in the fish industry was concluded Apr. 11, 1975.
E. M. ZAITSEV