The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says.(Photo: Atle Staalesen)
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
“It is more important than ever to continue people-to-people cooperation across the borders”, Rune Rafaelsen says in a comment to the recent days’ development Ukraine. “In the Barents cooperation we are focusing on dialogue and interaction, values that we now are trying to promote in other border areas in Europe, also in Ukraine”.
Rafaelsen recently visited the border area between Slovakia and Ukraine, where the Barents Secretariat is Donor Program Partner for the Norway Grants initiative on cross-border cooperation between the two countries. He met with Ukrainian regional representatives from Uzhgorod to discuss with them the experience from 20 years of successful Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the north.
The Norwegian government has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine, the government’s web site reads.
The Russian military activity on Crimea and the threats of further use of military power is a violation of international law. Russia has a heavy responsibility in calming down the tense situation. Russian authorities must immediately meet the Ukrainian request for dialogue to solve the crisis without any use of violence, Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende says.
“Through its military actions and threats of further use of military power, Russia is violating fundamental agreements it has made through the UN Charter, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), The Council of Europe and the NATO-Russian Council, Brende said. “It is an important signal that NATO has expressed full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Norwegian state-owned coal mining company Store Norske on the Svalbard archipelago is in a serious situation because of low prices on coal. The company is now in dialogue with the State, employees and the bank to secure further operations in 2015.
What was the Barents Region’s only east-west flight, from Arkhangelsk to Tromsø via Murmansk, lacks permission and is no longer flying. Nordavia, however, hopes to see the Pskovaia operated aircraft soon landing in Tromsø again.
This abandoned polar hydrometrological station at Cape Menshikova on Novaya Zemlya can be declared a culture heritage site as Arkhangelsk authorities urge Moscow to include Arctic objects in the state register.
Industrialists in Finland eye the opening of a major trade and transport route with a projected railway connection to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Former PM Paavo Lipponen has been hired to get the Norwegians onboard.
Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.
The Sami Council, which is an umbrella organization for Sami organizations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, has agreed that there is a need for Sami to be present in the EU capital of Brussels and plans to establish an office there.