The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg met with Russia’s Dmitri Medvedev on Friday preparing the 20-years anniversary of the Barents cooperation to take place in Kirkenes on June 4.
“We talked about the Barents Anniversary in Kirkenes in June. There, the member states will mark the 20th anniversary of the Barents Region Cooperation and sign a new Kirkenes Declaration. The 1993 Declaration has contributed to increased confidence and cooperation between participant states and their regions up north. The new declaration will take this further, with a particular emphasis on promoting business cooperation”, Stoltenberg said after the bi-lateral talks with Dmitri Medvedev.
In June, the Prime Ministers of Sweden, Finland, Russia and Norway will meet to outline the future Barents cooperation, Europe’s northernmost regional cross-border structure.
Signed in 1993, the first Kirkenes-declaration outlined how to boost people-to-people contacts, democratic reforms and business across formerly closed borders in the north. The text of the new declaration is not yet ready, but after Friday’s meeting in St. Petersburg, the Russian and Norwegian Prime Ministers says the agree to place emphasis on business cooperation.
In the meeting with Medvedev, Stoltenberg also brought up restrictions towards the civil society in Russia.
“I expressed my concern at the restrictions that recently have been imposed on the civil society in Russia. We see that such legal changes have already had their impact on the cooperation between Norwegian and Russian voluntary organisations”, said Stoltenberg.
Russia threatens to destroy Norwegian fish entering the Eurasian Economic Union after the Norwegian Food Safety Authority denied inspectors of the Russian veterinary and biosecurity service from entering salmon and trout farms.
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.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
Norwegian business leaders and academics interviewed by Yle’s Swedish-language news service say they are disappointed in the overall level of Swedish language skills among its job applicants from Finland.