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Svalbard Treaty

An agreement signed in February 1920 in Paris, originally named the Spitsbergen Treaty. It entered into force on August 14, 1925, and its initiating signers were: the United States, Great Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden. As of 2018, 46 states have signed the treaty.

According to the treaty, the Svalbard archipelago is owned and governed by Norway as a so-called dependent territory, but the states that have signed are allowed to use its natural resources and conduct research on the area. Only Norway and Russia have utilized the clause in the agreement on economic activity, exploiting hard coal deposits. Other countries only conduct research, and scientific programs on the archipelago.

Svalbard is administered by a governor residing in the town of Longyearbyen.


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