Nordisk Østforum, Vol 24, No 2, 2010, pp. 133-147. In Norwegian
The Norwegian-Russian relationship from the time of the Soviet collapse in 1991 to the present is discussed in this article. It is argued that in a historical perspective, the 1990s must be understood as an anomaly or, alternatively, a state of emergency. With the post-Soviet economy in ruins, previously unthinkable opportunities began to open up. It is asserted that this state of emergency has now come to an end. Assisted by soaring petroleum prices, President Vladimir Putin was able to lead his country out of the transitional misery and towards what he, and the average Russian, would perceive as Russia’s rightful place in international politics. Although this is a well-known fact, some sectors of the Norwegian public and foreign aid establishment seem to be stuck in the 1990s in their perception of Russia. We recommend that all projects involving Norwegian aid to Russian recipients be terminated.