Coordinates: 69°43′43″N 30°02′30″E / 69.72861°N 30.04167°E / 69.72861; 30.04167
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Sør-Varanger kommune
Mátta-Várjjaga gielda
Etelä-Varengin komuuni
Flag of Sør-Varanger kommune
Coat of arms of Sør-Varanger kommune
Official logo of Sør-Varanger kommune
Sør-Varanger within Troms og Finnmark
Sør-Varanger within Troms og Finnmark
Coordinates: 69°43′43″N 30°02′30″E / 69.72861°N 30.04167°E / 69.72861; 30.04167
CountyTroms og Finnmark
Established1 Jul 1858
Administrative centreKirkenes
 • Total3,971.58 km2 (1,533.44 sq mi)
 • Land3,458.68 km2 (1,335.40 sq mi)
 • Water512.90 km2 (198.03 sq mi)  12.9%
 • Rank6 in Norway
 • Total10,158
(Decrease from last year)
 • Rank112 in Norway
 • Density2.9/km2 (8/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-5444
Official language formBokmål[2]

Sør-Varanger (Northern Sami: Máttá-Várjjat, Kven: Etelä-Varenki, Finnish: Etelä-Varanki, Russian: Сёр-Вара́нгер) is a municipality in the county of Finnmark, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kirkenes. Located west of the Norway–Russia border, Sør-Varanger is the only Norwegian municipality that shares a land border with Russia, with the only legal border crossing at Storskog.

Geography: there are fjords in the municipality, including Langfjorden.

Road infrastructure: the E6 road has a bridge across Langfjorden (Finnmark): Strømmen bridge.[3]

History[change | change source]

For some time until 1826, Sør-Varanger was a district that (at the same time) belonged to Russia and Norway; there was an Eastern Sami (østsamisk)[4] population; the population was under Russia's jurisdiction.

A part of Norway, it became in 1826.[4]

Norway's government had a fear that the county could be lost to Finland[4] or Russia; Finland was under Russian domination (or rule) during 1809 - 1918. Part of the fear was that Finnish-speaking Kven people[5] would help Finland/Russia, to take Northern areas, away from [the government of] Norway. (Cwenas[5] is the Old English name for a group of people of Finnish heritage; this group immigrated to North Norway - from Finland and Sweden.)[6]

During the 19th century, the area was colonized by Sámi from Norway; people from Finland; and Norwegians.[4]

The mining industry in Kirkenes, and at Bjørnevatn, was started in 1906; the majority of the county's population then, were Norwegian.[4]

The people that were Finnish, mostly [lived] at three settlements: Bugøynes in the West, Pasvik in the East, and at Neiden (between Bugøynes and Pasvik); those who spoke Finnish, were in majority (in these 3 settlements).[4]

Economy[change | change source]

Media said in 2022's second quarter that the level of employment is 2,100 full-time positions.[7]

[Around] 600 people (in 2022's first quarter) work in industries related to ships and boats, including delivering supplies and services including repairs; Kimek is one of the largest companies in the municipality.[8]

Regarding the economy's benefit of trade related to Russians: media said in 2022, that around 300 jobs are directly dependent on "the co-operation with Russia", while 670 jobs have a "connection" with Russia.[7]

Settlements[change | change source]

Settlements in the municipality include the villages of Bjørnevatn, Bugøynes, Elvenes, Grense Jakobselv, Hesseng, Jakobsnes, Neiden, Sandnes and Kirkenes (a town).

Administration[change | change source]

The municipal council is elected until late 2027.

(The 25 council members were elected during the 2023 Norwegian local elections.)

Famous people[change | change source]

Gallery[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
  3. https://www.sagat.no/leder/haster-med-ny-strommen-bru/19.42139. Sagat.no. Retrieved 2024-01-04
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Forvirring om hvem er kven [Confusion about who is part of the Kven people
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Kvener". 23 January 2023.
  6. Reidun Mellem. "Kvenane blir gløymde i diskusjonen om fornorskningspolitikken. Er myndigheitene framleis redde for at dei ikkje er norske nok? Sanningskommisjon, ja takk" [ Kven people are being forgotten in the discussion regarding the policies of making that group of people, more Norwegian. Is the government still scared that they are not Norwegian enough? Truth commission, yes please]. 2017-08-21. Klassekampen. pages 22-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/7dAGK8/sanksjoner-rammer-grenseby-kan-ikke-bosette-finnmark-med-kanoner. VG.no. Retrieved April 9, 2022
  8. https://www.nrk.no/tromsogfinnmark/vestlige-sanksjoner-kan-ramme-600-arbeidsplasser-i-sor-varanger-_-vedum-og-vestre-til-kirkenes-1.15877047. NRK. Retrieved March 7, 2022
  9. https://www.nrk.no/valg/2023/resultat/fylke/56/5605. NRK.no. Retrieved 2023-09-26
  10. Ole Magnus Rapp. "Høy 007-faktor". 2022-12-14 Klassekampen. P. 27
  11. https://www.ifinnmark.no/ny-bok-om-dobbeltagenten-fra-finnmark-det-var-sanne-som-meg-russerne-hadde-bruk-for/s/5-81-1698852. iFinnmark.no. Retrieved 2022-12-14

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Sør-Varanger at Wikimedia Commons