In 1920, the Treaty concerning Spitsbergenattributed to Norway sovereignty over the arctic archipelago of Svalbard on the following conditions: the total demilitarization of the region, a proper system of taxation, respect for the environment and above all the possibility for all the signatory countries to develop a sustainable activity. Russia, which only ratified the treaty in 1935, is currently the only foreign country to benefit from this right through mining. This situation results from exclusively geopolitical considerations because the various Russian coal mines in the archipelago (Barentsburg, Pyramiden, Grumant and Colesbay) have always been in financial deficit. Russian interests in svalbard stem from Barentsburg's strategic location in the Arctic Circle and its ideal location amid the new sea lanes which are gradually opening up in the arctic. nevertheless, the mine remains the only official justification for the Russian presence in the region. But no one is fooled. Not even the miners who have patience between their work in an unsanitary mining operation, the polar night and the lack of entertainment.