The strategy, approved and signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on 28 December, is based on innovative principles and aims at an expansion of cross-border trade, as well as new forms of external economic activities, a government press release reads.
The overall objective is to identify “the most efficient approaches to the development of the customs service in line with international standards and federal legislation”, the government underlines.
The guiding document highlights the need for better customs infrastructure in the border areas and includes a stress on the full exclusion of corrupt practices and crimes among service officials, the Federal Customs Service informs. Staff training will be enhanced and investments will be placed in the development of the regional customs offices.
The new strategy comes as Russia adopts WTO regulations as part of its new membership in the trade club.
After a major drop in 2009, Russian foreign trade in 2010 and 2011 increased significantly. Figures from the Service show that the Russian year-on-year foreign trade turnover in 2012 increased by a little more than four percent.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.
“Young journalists are the future of cross border communication in the North. We feel it is important to give them a possibility to network and learn about new media”, says Virpi Komulainen, project coordinator of the Barents Mediasphere.