By Paul Goble
Members of the Saami nationality living in northern Norway are doing far better than their co-ethnics living on the other side of the Russian Federation border near Murmansk. Indeed, the differences between the standard of living of the two groups represents one of the most striking indictments of the achievement of Norway in helping this numerically small people of the North to successfully modernize and the almost utter failure of the Russian Federation to do the same.
The natural environment on the two sides of the border is remarkably similar, Ilya Klishin of Moscow’s independent Dozhd television says, and that makes the differences between the way the Saami live in Norway and the way they do in Russia even more striking. And because the Saami are a single nation, the elimination of that cultural factor as a source of differences make the system differences between Norway and Russia all that much more obvious (snob.ru