The High North and the Barents Cooperation was on top of the agenda in Wednesday’s meeting beween Barth Eide and Governor Marina Kovtun of Murmansk.
Less than two months ahead the 20th anniversary of the Barents Cooperation, Minister Eide says that the regional cooperation has been “a source of inspiration in relations between the states”. He also argues that there is a connection between the long-term Barents Cooperation and the recent delimitation of the Barents Sea. “It is based on the good climate which has been developed regionally over the years”, he told BarentsObserver in an exclusive interview.
Anniversary celebrations of the Barents Cooperation will be held in Kirkenes in January 2013 and followed up by a top meeting between prime ministers in June.
When established on 11 January 1993, the Barents Cooperation became a new platform for regional cooperation between Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden. Today, four countries, 13 regional entities, as well representatives of indigenous peoples and a wide variety of civil society organizations and public institutions, are closely engaged in the cooperation structures.
A key issue in the upcoming anniversary celebrations will be the adoption of a Kirkenes Declaration II, a new guiding document for the regional cooperation. According to Barth Eide, issues of civil society development and democracy will remain important components in relations.
Also Governor Marina Kovtun has on several occasions highlighted the importance of the Barents Cooperation. In an meeting with Norwegian foreign ministry representatives in June, the governor said that the Kirkenes Declaration from 1993 is a “unique document, which opened new opportunities for international cooperation” and expressed major expectation from the Kirkenes Declaration II.
Before meeting with Minister Eide, Governor Kovtun attended a session in the Barents Regional Council, a body which includes regional leaders from all 13 counties and provinces in the region. Among the other regional leaders attending the meeting was Governor Igor Orlov from Arkhangelsk.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.