Speaking about “Finnish-Russian Arctic Partnership” in St. Petersburg this week; Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said the cooperation with Russia should be free from red tape.
- Something new should be created to develop our cooperation on the political and business levels, Alexander Stubb said to the audience, Itar-Tass reports from the joint seminar in Russia’s second largest city.
The Finnish Foreign Minister also suggested to work together with Russian on marketing the Northern Sea Route.
Russia’s high-profiled Arctic explorer Arthur Chilingarov followed up on Alexander Stubb’s speech by launching the idea to set up a joint Finnish – Russian shipbuilding enterprise. Such enterprise can build high-tech Arctic vessels.
Finland has a long history of building Arctic vessels for the Soviet Union, later Russia. The two nuclear powered icebreakers Taimyr and Vaigash, based in Murmansk, were built in Finland in the 80ties. Also, the Mir deep-water submarine that Arthur Chilingarov used when he planted the Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole in 2007 was originally built in Finland.
- Joint development of the Barents Sea shelf can be another trend of cooperation, Chilingarov said, according to Itar-Tass.
Friends in the Arctic: Foreign Ministers of Russia and Finland: Sergei Lavrov and Alexander Stubb. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
In Murmansk, Finland will upgrade its diplomatic office to a full-fledged Consulate General that will be located together with the existing Norwegian Consulate General.
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.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
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.