Norway, Russia getting closer a deal

-I am convinced that we will make progress in the negotiations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently said. Norway’s Jonas Gahr Støre confirms that the 175,000 square kilometre disputed zone in the Barents Sea is a topic every time he meets with the Russian minister.


Mr. Støre and Lavrov will meet in Kirkenes and Murmansk this week. For two and a half day, the two foreign ministry leaders will be together, first in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes and then in Murmansk. Big speculations have been linked with the meetings, which come about two and a half year after negotiations between the countries on the issues were resumed. The negotiations were first initiated in the early 1970s. Asked by the Norwegian News Agency (NTB), Jonas Gahr Støre says that the Norwegian and Russian chief negotiators are in constant contact and that the zone is a topic every time he meets with Sergey Lavrov. –It is not difficult to imagine agreement, however it is difficult to root this agreement in all levels of power, Støre says to NTB. –We have to be patient, we will not negotiate under time pressure, he adds. Russia’s Sergey Lavrov on his side is reported to have said that “I am convinced that we will do progress”, when describing the negotiations, NRK writes with reference to NTB. The Varanger agreement signed by both countries last year might have been a breakthrough for the whole negotiations. The Varanger Agreement includes 70 km of border in the southernmost part of the disputed area. -What we achieved last year gives me new hope. Truly, this [the Varanger Agreement] is a small area, but the methodics used will benefit the rest of the talks, Mr. Lavrov says to the news agency.