Murmansk Oblast is one of the Russian regions most engaged in international cooperation. This week, the region’s legislative assembly made an important step towards enhanced political cooperation with neighbouring Norway.
Murmansk Governor Yuri Yevdokimov is already a heavyweighter in international cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. When he visited Oslo in April this year, he met with both the Norwegian king, four government ministers and a number of prominent business representatives.
Now, also the Murmansk regional parliament is stepping up its international cooperation efforts. This week, the legislative assembly co-organised a seminar for regional politicians in Murmansk Oblast and northern Norway. The seminar comes as part of a process with a generally bigger engagement of the regional duma in international affairs.
In the seminar organised together with the Norwegian Barents Secretariat in Kirkenes, petroleum developments, environment, indigenous peoples and facilitated cross-border travel was on the agenda.
The seminar clearly illustrated the need for a close cooperation between the legislative bodies in the region. Both the Russian and Norwegian parts of the region are likely to experience an increasing need for shared information and political rapprochement following the quick industrialization and internationalization of the Barents Sea.
With this week’s seminar, the legislative assemblies in Murmansk and northern Norway also made clear that the popularly elected level of power must be part of the regional international cooperation. On both sides of the border, the legislative assemblies are the highest popularly elected bodies.
Murmansk Oblast, located next to Norway and Finland, has over the last 20 years been firmly engaged in international cooperation with it western neighbour through the Barents Cooperation. Read more about the Barents Euro-Arctic Region at the website of the Barents Council.