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The MIKON flagship program in the Fram Centre is using both social and environmental sciences to examine how High North industrial development will affect the natural world, regional societies like the Sami and economic activity.

On the backdrop of political chill, trade between Finland and Russia is falling sharply. Also tourism between the countries is in a downswing.

Russia and the state

The Russian government looks set to extend its list of sectors protected against foreign investors. According to a draft bill, foreigners will be allowed into publishing houses, the Internet and fisheries only with special state permission.

The Kolskaya Sverkhglubokaya

The Russian federal Property Agency (Rosimushchestvo) yesterday officially announced that the world’s deepest drilling hole, the Kolskaya Sverkhglubokaya (“Kola Super-deep”), will be abandoned.

Pirate trawler

Norwegian authorities have cancelled its planned court case against the Russian trawler “Elektron”. The Russian fishing vessel in late 2005 managed to run away from the Norwegian Coast Guard after having been arrested for illegal fishing.

Arkhangelsk (Barentsphoto.com)

Arkhangelsk Governor Ilya Mikhalchuk has approved a strategic plan for the development of the construction industry in the region, informs Vice-Governor on infrastructural development Vladimir Voikov.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

Regional authorities in Murmansk will in the course of 2008 complete the upgrade of the Prirechny road to the Norwegian border.

Foto: Barentsphoto.com

Norway is lagging behind the Russians when it comes to the development of infrastructure in the High North, Arvid Jensen in Norwegian Petro Arctic association says.

Murmansk streets (Barentsphoto.com)

City authorities in Murmansk will spend twice less on road upgrades in 2008 compares with 2007.

Sergey Ivanov

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov sees no point in upgrading the old port on the eastern side of the Kola Bay. He says a brand new port will have to be built on the western side of the bay.

Pirate trawler "Elektron"

The Norwegian and Russian coast guards have decided to develop a joint database with information on vessels engaged in illegal fishing. -This will make it easier to catch the violators, head of the Coast Guard in northern Norway, Mr. Steve Olsen says.

Photo: Government.ru

The government will support Russian companies to get established abroad, Russia’s new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said to the State Duma yesterday.

Photo: portmurmansk.ru

In the first three months of 2008, Russian exports were up 52 percent year-on-year from 2007. In the same period, imports were up 40 percent.

Russian fishery boss Andrey Krainy says there is a need for more harmonized fishery regulations with Norway in the waters around Spitsbergen.

Electricity in Komi Republic

Russian electricity major RAO UES will over the next five years invest 10,5 billion RUB (280 mill EUR) in electricity grid development in the Komi Republic. Power consumption in the region is expected to increase with as much as 80 percent over the next seven years