Svalbard (Spitsbergen)
 
Svalbard; prior to 1925 known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen (Russian: Шпицберген) is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. While part of the Kingdom of Norway since 1925, Svalbard is not part of geographical Norway proper; administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area administered by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government, and a special jurisdiction subject to the Svalbard Treaty that is, unlike Norway proper, outside of the Schengen Area, the Nordic Passport Union and the European Economic Area.
Since 2002, Svalbard's main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities. Other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research station of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population. Other settlements are farther north, but are populated only by rotating groups of researchers.
The islands were first used as a whaling base by whalers who sailed far north in pursuit of whales for blubber in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which they were abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent communities were established. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. They also established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. The Norwegian Store Norske and the Russian Arktikugol remain the only mining companies in place. Research and tourism have become important supplementary industries, with the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing critical roles. No roads connect the settlements; instead snowmobiles, aircraft and boats serve inter-community transport. Svalbard Airport, Longyear serves as the main gateway.
The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen are collectively assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code "SJ". Both areas are administered by Norway, though they are separated by a distance of over 950 kilometres (590 miles; 510 nautical miles) and have very different administrative structures.
Discovery: The first written mention of the name, Svalbard, was in 1194, but it wasn't before 1596 that Willem Barentz officially discovered the archipelago. He was looking for an alternate route to the Far East, but after drifting in thick fog arrived of the coast of Svalbard. He saw an archipelago with countless mountains, glaciers and long, deep fjords that were teeming with whales. While these riches were not of the same worth as the spice markets in the Far East, whales were an important resource in Europe, which needed oil for lamps. In the beginning of the 1600s, an intense whale hunt began, with up to 200 vessels present in the summer season. During the winter, however, Svalbard was an inhospitable icy desert, and it would be over 30 years between its discovery and the first successful over-wintering. In 1630, eight Englishmen were left behind due to a misunderstanding, but managed to survive on old whale meat and leftover blubber, opening people’s eyes to the possibility of a year-round presence on Svalbard.
Note: Administered by the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice, through a local governor. By treaty the nationals of the treaty powers have equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to Norwegian regulation. Although U.S., U.K., German, Dutch, and Swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still mining are Norwegian and Russian.
Territorial Disputes: Despite recent discussions, Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone.
 
 
Chronology:
 
                      1194  First mentioned in Icelandic annals report that "Svalbard
                             found" (Svalbardi fundinn), however there is no scientific
                             consensus that supports this hypothesis and they more likely
                             referred to Jan Mayen.
               24 May 1596  Dutch expedition under Jacob van Heemskerck, Willem Barentsz,
                             and Jan Corneliszoon Rijp while trying to find a Northeast
                             Passage discovers Spitsbergen (and Bear Island), while
                             assuming it to be part of Greenland.
                      1612  Whaling activities commence in the waters around Svalbard
                             accompanied by various ineffective claims of possession (by
                             Denmark, England, France, Netherlands, Russia and Sweden).
       1764 - 1766          Failed attempt to find a Northeast Passage led by Vasiliy
                             Yakovlevich Chichagov (b. 1726 - d. 1809) in the waters
                             around Svalbard.
                      1899  Commercial mining begun by Søren Zachariassen (b. 1837 -
                             d. 1915).
               10 Jun 1906  First permanent settlement (Longyear City [from 1925
                             Longyearbyen], named for founder John Munroe Longyear)
                             established.
               26 Jan 1912  To be placed under international administration by draft
                             convention, which is not effected.
               14 May 1912  Russia and Norway agree that Spitsbergen Archipelago is to be
                             neutral territory.
               30 Nov 1916  Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK)(Great Norwegian-
                             Spitsbergen Coal Company) established and begins operations in
                             Svalbard.
               09 Feb 1920  Norwegian sovereignty recognized by the Treaty Concerning the
                             Archipelago of Spitsbergen" (by U.S., U.K., Denmark, France,
                             Italy, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden [later China
                             01 Jul 1925, Germany 16 Nov 1925, and Soviet Union 07 May
                             1935]) (effective 14 Aug 1925). It is known as Svalbard Treaty.
               17 Jul 1925  Svalbard Act.
               14 Aug 1925  Formal assumption of sovereignty by Norway (by Svalbard Act).
 11 Jul 1930 - 31 Dec 1994  Svaldbard governors also the governors of Jan Mayen.
 01 Jan 1937 - 31 Dec 1952  Svalbard subordinated the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and
                             Industry.
 07 Jun 1940 - 31 May 1945  Administered by the Norwegian government in exile.
               03 Sep 1941  Allied forces under Arthur E. Potts (Canada)(b. 1890 - d. 1983)
                             evacuate the population and administration to U.K., mining
                             installations are destroyed.
        1941 - 14 May 1942  German occupation
 29 Oct 1941 - 24 Aug 1942  German weather station "Knospe" established at Signehamna bay,
                             Northwest-Spitsbergen (withdrawn 24 Aug 1942).
    Sep 1942 - 1945         Germans continue to establish weather stations at various
                             locations in Svalbard (including stations "Nussbaum,"
                             "Kreuzritter," "Svartisen," "Helhus" and "Landvik").
               08 Sep 1943  German battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhorst attack Longyearbyen,
                             Barentsburg and Gruman.
                  Aug 1944  Sveagruva settlement destroyed by German assault.
    Sep 1944 - 04 Sep 1945  German weather station "Haudegen" established on Nordaustland
                             under Wilhelm Dege (b. 1910 - d. 1979).
               12 Nov 1944  Soviet Union requests joint administration of Svalbard and
                             cession of Bear Island (again Nov 1946 and Jan 1947),
                             which is rejected by Norway (by parliament on 15 Feb 1947).
               01 Jan 1953  Svalbard subordinated to the Ministry of Justice.
               01 Nov 1971  Svalbard Council established, parties are allowed to run for
                             election from 1993. In 2002, the Longyearbyen Community
                             Council replaces the Svalbard Council.
               01 Jul 2002  The Svalbard Environmental Act of 15 June 2001 implemented.
 
 

 
 
  • Directors of the Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani
  • Kenneth Lebrun Gilson, Jr. ...............................1916 - 1917 d. 19..
  • Sigurd Kristian Westby (1st time).........................1917 - 1918 d. 1969
  • Sigurd Olaf Foss (1st time)...............................1918 - 1919 d. 1964
  • Sigurd Rudie..............................................1919 - 1920 d. 19..
  • Sigurd Kristian Westby (2nd time).........................1920 - 1921
  • Sigurd Olaf Foss (2nd time)...............................1921 - 1922
  • Sigurd Kristian Westby (3rd time).........................1922 - 1923
  • Sigurd Olaf Foss (3rd time)...............................1923 - 1925
  • Governors (Sysselmann)
  • Edvard Lassen (acting).............................14 Aug 1925 - 09 Oct 1925 d. 19..
  • Johannes Gerckens Bassøe...........................09 Oct 1925 - 03 Jul 1932 d. 1962
  • acting for Bassøe
    • Erik Håvie-Thoresen (1st time).......................1929 - 1929 d. 1967
    • Erik Håvie-Thoresen (2nd time)..............................1930
    • Erik Håvie-Thoresen (3rd time)..............................1931
  • Wolmar Tycho Marlow (1st time).....................03 Jul 1932 - 30 Jun 1935 d. 1963
  • acting for Marlow
    • Egil Brenna Lund (1st time)...................03 Jul 1932 - 1933 d. 1949
    • Helge Marcus Ingstad (1st time)......................1933 - Oct 1934 d. 2001
    • Egil Brenna Lund (2nd time)......................Oct 1934 - 1935
    • Helge Marcus Ingstad (2nd time)......................1935 - 30 Jun 1935
  • Helge Marcus Ingstad (continued as acting).........30 Jun 1935 - 31 Aug 1935
  • Wolmar Tycho Marlow (2nd time).....................01 Sep 1935 - 30 Jun 1942
  • He was evacuated to U.K. on 03 Sep 1941.
  • German Military Commander (of weather group Knospe)
  • Hans-Robert Knoespel...............................29 Oct 1941 - 24 Aug 1942 d. 1944
  • Norwegian Military Governors at Barentsburg (from 08 Sep 1943, Garrison Chiefs)
  • Ernst Gustav Adolf Ullring (1st time)..............01 Jul 1942 - 18 Sep 1942 d. 1953
  • Albert Karlsen Tornerud............................18 Sep 1942 - 1942 d. 1968
  • Ernst Gustav Adolf Ullring (2nd time).....................1942 - 17 Jun 1943
  • Peter Morten Bredsdorff............................17 Jun 1943 - 08 Sep 1943 d. 1984
  • Unknown acting ruler: 08 Sep 1943 - 29 Sep 1943.
  • Ove Roll Lund......................................29 Sep 1943 - 20 Jun 1944 d. 1946
  • Johannes Sjur Etterlid.............................20 Jun 1944 - 1946 d. 1998
  • Governors (Sysselmann)
  • Hans Håkon Balstad........................................1946 - 1956 d. 1964
  • Odd Birketvedt............................................1956 - 1960 d. 19..
  • Finn Backer Midbøe........................................1960 - 1963 d. 1999
  • Tollef Landsverk..........................................1963 - 1967 d. 1988
  • Stephen Stephensen........................................1967 - 1970 d. 2004
  • Frederik Waldemar Nikolai Beichmann.......................1970 - 1974 d. 2002
  • Leif Thomas Eldring (1st time).....................14 Sep 1974 - Jan 1978 d. 1994
  • Jan Steinar Grøndahl..................................Feb 1978 - 30 Jun 1982
  • Carl Alexander Wendt...............................01 Jul 1982 - 14 Jun 1986 d. 2006
  • Leif Thomas Eldring (2nd time).....................15 Jul 1986 - 14 Jul 1991
  • Odd Emil Blomdal...................................15 Jul 1991 - Aug 1995 d. 2015
  • Ann-Kristin Olsen (female)............................Aug 1995 - 08 Nov 1998
  • Morten Ruud........................................09 Nov 1998 - 30 Sep 2001
  • Odd Olsen Ingerø (1st time)........................01 Nov 2001 - 07 Feb 2005
  • Sven Ole Fagernaes (acting)........................08 Feb 2005 - 30 Sep 2005
  • Per Ottar Sefland..................................01 Oct 2005 - 14 Sep 2009
  • Odd Olsen Ingerø (2nd time)........................15 Sep 2009 - 30 Sep 2015
  • Kjerstin Askholt (female)..........................01 Oct 2015 - date
  • She was born on 07 May 1962 at Oslo, Norway. She served as the deputy director of Bredtveit Prison from 1990 to 1991, deputy director of the Ministry of Justice from 1996 to 1999, and was from 2003, deputy under-secretary of state at the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice.
 
 
Coinage
Currency: U.S. Dollar (USD); 1919-2001 Salvadoran Colon (SVC); 1847-1919 Salvadoran Peso (SVC).
 
 
1946
 

KM#5 Leu. Year: 1992. Weight: 3.23g [3.30 g]. Metal: Nickel clad steel. Diameter: 20.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Monetăria Statului, Romania.
Obverse: "M" monogram at the top stands for the name of the country - Moldova. Numeral "1" in the center. Two digits of Date on each side. Currency "LEU" written at the bottom. Reverse: Coat of Arms of Moldova in the center. "REPUBLICA" (Republic) written in Romanian at the left side clockwise and "MOLDOVA" written at the right side clockwise. A pair of Oak leaves at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type. Issue date: 29 November 1993. Designer: Constantin Dumitrescu.

Note: The 1 leu 1992 and 5 lei 1993 coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1994. Due to their low quality and relatively high nominal value, many forgeries appeared.

 
 
 
 
 
1998
 
   
   
 
   
 
   
 
 
2001
 
   
   
   
Arktikugol (Russian: Арктикуголь, literally "Arctic Coal"' full name Федеральное государственное унитарное предприятие (ФГУП) государственный трест (ГТ) (Federal'noye gosudarstvennoye unitarnoye predpriyatiye (FGUP) gosudarstvennyy trest (GT)) «Арктикуголь») is a Russian coal mining unitary enterprise which operates on the islands of Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway. Owned by the Government of Russia, Arktikugol currently has limited mining in Barentsburg. It has carried out mining operations and still owns the towns of Pyramiden and Grumant, with its port at Colesbukta. The company is headquartered in Moscow and is the official agency through which Russia, and previously the Soviet Union, exercised its Svalbard policy.
The company was established on 07 October 1931 to take over all Soviet mining interests on Svalbard. At the time Grumant and Pyramiden were bought, although only Grumant was in operation. It also bought Barentsburg from Dutch interests. The company retained operation there and in Grumant until 1941, when all employees were evacuated to the mainland as part of Operation Gauntlet. Mining resumed in 1947 and commenced in Pyramiden in 1955. Declining coal deposits resulted in Grumant being closed in 1961.
Throughout the 1960s to 80s Arktikugol carried out a series of oil drilling on the archipelago, but never succeeded at finding profitable reservoirs. From the 1990s the company lost a lot of its subsidies and cut production, resulting in Pyramiden being closed in 1998. The company has attempted to diversify, without success. Website: www.arcticugol.ru
 
Additional Notes: The polar archipelago of Svalbard was first discovered by Willem Barentsz in 1596, although there is disputed evidence of use by Pomors or Norsemen. Whaling for bowhead whales started in 1611, dominated by English and Dutch companies, though other countries participated. At that time there was no agreement about sovereignty. Whaling stations, the largest being Smeerenburg, were built during the 17th century, but gradually whaling decreased. Hunting was carried out from the 17th century by Pomors, but from the 19th century it became more dominated by Norwegians.
Exploration was initially conducted to find new whaling grounds, but from the 18th century some scientific expeditions took place. These were initially large scale, but from the late 19th century they became smaller and increasingly focused on the interior. The most important scientific explorers were Baltazar Mathias Keilhau, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld and Martin Conway. Sustainable mining started in 1906 with the establishment of Longyearbyen and by the 1920s,
permanent coal mining settlements had been established at Barentsburg, Grumant, Pyramiden, Svea and Ny-Ålesund. The Svalbard Treaty came into effect in 1925, granting Norway sovereignty of the archipelago, but prohibiting "warlike activities" and establishing all signatories the right to mine. This both eliminated the mare liberum status of the islands, and also saw a name change from the Spitsbergen Archipelago to Svalbard. By the 1930s, all settlements were either Norwegian or Soviet.
During the Second World War, the settlements were first evacuated and then bombed by the Kriegsmarine, but rebuilt after the war. During the Cold War there were increased tensions between Norway and the Soviet Union, particularly regarding the building of an airport. There was limited oil drilling, and by 1973 more than half the archipelago was protected. Starting in the 1970s, Longyearbyen underwent a process of "normalization" to become a regular community.
Arktikugol closed Grumant in 1962 and Pyramiden in 1998, while King Bay had to close mining at Ny-Ålesund after the Kings Bay Affair. The 1990s and 2000s have seen major reductions of the Russian population and the creation of scientific establishments in Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen. Tourism has also increased and become a major component of the economy of Longyearbyen.
 
 
 
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