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China is accelerating its pace in Arctic exploration by publishing its first guide to sailing through the Northern Sea Route.

Greenpeace’s vessel «Arctic Sunrise» has been released after nearly nine months of detention in Murmansk, following the organization’s demonstration against Arctic drilling in the Pechora Sea last fall.

This week BarentsObserver brought you three very different news stories from the Arctic. None of them makes world headlines alone. But seen together they provide you with a frightening glimpse of the future Arctic. In this Opinion, BarentsObserver underlines the need for a comprehensive search- and rescue cooperation between the nations in the north.

Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will present Finland’s Arctic Strategy later this month.

On December 3rd 1959, the world’s first nuclear powered civilian vessel was officially taken into operation. Lenin was the first of nine nuclear icebreakers designed for navigation in the Arctic out of Murmansk. Today Lenin is a museum of Russia’s nuclear fleet.

The melting Arctic ice-cap changes the geopolitical map in the north. Now, China is preparing for the Arctic being navigable during summer months, according to a report released this week.

The Finnish government has established an official group which is to support, follow up and coordinate Finnish activities in the Arctic.

The nuclear powered icebreaker “Rossiya” has left Murmansk on a mission to rescue the personnel of a drifting research station in the Arctic.

The Finnish Cabinet Committee on EU Affairs has adopted the proposal for Finland’s Arctic Strategy with focus on issues relating to security, the environment, economy, infrastructure and the indigenous peoples in the Arctic.

The Murmansk Oblast regional government has adopted a program aimed at making the Northern Russian town of Murmansk “Capital of the Arctic”.

China can make a valuable contribution in the Arctic region, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a speech at the China Institute of International of International Studies Forum in Beijing this week.

The Ninth Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region meeting in the European Parliament, Brussels 13. -15. September 2010 adopted on Wednesday a Conference Statement which gives support to the EU Arctic Information Centre in northern Finland.

Arkhangelsk is suggested to host the next year’s Arctic Forum.

The European Parliament in a new report calls for the establishment of a permanent EU inter-service structure for Arctic affairs. It also wants an Arctic unit to be established within the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Possible establishment of joint shipbuilding enterprise to build high-tech Arctic vessels.