With the Arctic becoming an object of steadily growing attention, Murmansk Oblast establishes the “Arctic University” to prepare Barents students for jobs in Arctic oil and gas projects. 

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. 

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.

About 200 million rubles have been stolen from Zvezdochka, the Northern Fleet yard in Severodvinsk.



As Syrian refugees in the hundreds cross over from Russia, capacities in Kirkenes reach the limits. Now an abandoned military compound is turned into refugee reception center.

“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.

REYKJAVIK: Transit cargo between Europe and Asia plummets, but cargo to and from Russian ports along the Northern Sea Route is increasing considerably, Deputy Minister of Transport Olersky says..

REYKJAVIK: The Arctic Council should learn from the Barents Euro-Arctic cooperation and focus on the regional level when it comes to cooperation in the Arctic, says Rune Rafaelsen, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.

REYKJAVIK: Iceland and Germany are cooperating on building an ice-free, deep-water harbour that can be a hub for Arctic shipping and petroleum activity.

Regional identity is on the priority list of the new Russian Barents Council chairmanship along with cross-border transportation, climate, culture and tourism. 

REYKJAVIK: The capital of Iceland stands in the Arctic limelight for the next couple of days, as people from around 50 different countries gather to discuss resources, climate change, security politics and much more at the Arctic Circle assembly.

The U.S. Interior Department cancels two future offshore leases in Chukchi and Beaufort seas and will refuse requests from oil companies to renew existing leases.

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.

A series of high-level talks were held in the run-up to today’s session in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Statement delivered by Foreign Minister Lavrov ahead of Barents meeting is bound to stir controversy in Finland 

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.

The Norwegians are known as staunch supporters of the Barents Cooperation. But they show a clearly fading engagement in the Barents Regional Council. 

We want to strengthen cross-border regional cooperation in the Barents Region, the new Chair of the Barents Regional Council says.

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.

The BarentsObserver editor gets compensation from Barents Secretariat board.

Suenjel Skolt Sámi community archive

UNESCO places the Suenjel Skolt Sámi community archive onto an important register of world heritage.

Warming soils will allow long-dormant bacteria to wake up and begin converting inert mercury to its more toxic form, say scientists.

The environmental organization Bellona Murmansk was on Monday dissolved as a NGO after it was declared a «foreign agent» by Russia’s Justice Ministry earlier this year. 

The Barents region is the exception to an ecological deficit in Europe. But the long-term trend shows a reduction in biocapacity also in the north. 

The Finnish Defence Command is starting a three-day evaluation visit to Alakurtti, the base for Russia’s new Arctic special forces.