Sanctions taint Norway love affair with Russian liberators

Soviet forces sail across the Arctic Ocean as they approach a German naval base in northern Norway, on October 20, 1944In the far north of Norway, sanctions imposed on Russia have left a bitter after-taste as the region celebrates the anniversary of its liberation from Nazi rule by the Soviet army. Seventy years ago, Soviet soldiers pushed into northern Norway, liberating a vast region that had been devastated by a scorched earth policy by retreating German troops. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov prepares to visit the town of Kirkenes in Finnmark county on Saturday to mark its liberation on October 25, 1944, locals find themselves in an awkward bind. “No one in Finnmark wants to let the Ukraine question interfere with the friendly relations that are maintained here with Russia,” said Arvid Petterson, a local historian and author.

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