A Fluid Iron Curtain. Norwegian–Soviet Hydropower Cooperation in the Pasvik Valley, 1955–1965

Frey, Felix (2019). A Fluid Iron Curtain. Norwegian–Soviet Hydropower Cooperation in the Pasvik Valley, 1955–1965. Scandinavian Journal of History, pp. 1-21. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/03468755.2019.1629336

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The Pasvik River shapes the greater part of the border between Russia and Norway. This body of water was a site of Norwegian–Soviet energy cooperation from the 1950s until the late 1970s. Norwegian firms constructed four hydropower stations in a strategically sensitive area. Drawing on Soviet and Norwegian archival materials, this study analysed the heterogeneous interests and negotiation processes that resulted in long-term hydropower cooperation. The powerhouses were designed to produce both electrical and political energies for transfer across the border. These infrastructural projects fit into the contemporary narrative of peaceful coexistence and prompted a firm cooperation between the two countries. Norwegian workers built power plants on Soviet soil, thereby legitimizing the Norwegian social democrats’ policy of rapprochement. The Soviet government and media portrayed the construction as physical proof of good neighbourly relations. Not only state actors but also members of the Norwegian–Soviet Friendship Society aimed to appropriate the powerhouses for their specific goals. They worked to soften the border regime between the two countries, thus initiating a locally limited visa-free entry zone. However, this project was short-lived because Norwegian–Soviet cooperation at the border was restricted to the realm of energy production.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History

UniBE Contributor:

Frey, Felix

Subjects:

900 History > 940 History of Europe

ISSN:

0346-8755

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Language:

English

Submitter:

Felix Frey

Date Deposited:

14 Aug 2019 11:18

Last Modified:

18 Aug 2019 02:39

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/03468755.2019.1629336

Additional Information:

#ppe

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Norway, Soviet Union, Cold War, Energy, Border Region, Hydropower

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132531

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