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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.

Container TUK-108 (sevmash.ru)

The Sevmash construction plant has signed a contract for production of 20 containers for storage of spent nuclear fuel, informs the press-service of the plant.

The foreign trade turnover of the Komi Republic in the first three months of 2008 totalled 262 million USD, which is up 22 percent year-on-year from 2006.

Finnish Foreign Trade Minister, Dr. Paavo Vдyrynen

During his visit to Murmansk this week, Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Paavo Väyrynen highlighted Finnish interests in the big upcoming industrial projects in the region.

Guenter Verheugen

EU Commissioner Guenter Verheugen says he can sympathise with Russia’s decision to raise timber export duties, although it is outraging Finnish and Swedish importers. “The importers have been treating Russia as a third-world country,” he said in an interview this week.

The Belkomur project

A new agreement between the Russian Railways and the regional administrations of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Komi Republic and Perm Kray opens up for a revitalization of the Belkomur railway project. The projected railway links the Urals with the Barents Sea.

The Nenets AO

-The development of a transport connection between the Komi Republic and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug is vital for regional industry and economy, deputy governor of the Nenets AO administration said during a visit to Komi this week.

Over the last five months, the Finnish General Consulate in Sankt Petersburg has issued about 190,000 visas to Russians, which is up 45 percent year-on-year from 2007.

Andrey Krainy

Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev last week deprived the country’s Ministry of Agriculture control over the Fishery Agency. From now on, the agency will be directly subordinated the government.

Murmansk highway (BarentsObserver)

A Finnish company has got a Russian state order on the upgrade of roads on the Kola Peninsula. In the course of 2008, the company is to reconstruct more than 150 km of regional roads.

The Port of Murmansk

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development yesterday announced the winners of the tender on special economic port status. Murmansk was considered among the favourites in the tender, but still failed to acquire the favourable status.

Norilsk Nickel and Rusal

Norilsk Nickel owner Vladimir Potanin and Metalloinvest owner Alisher Usmanov aim to invest up to 60 billion USD to set up the world’s biggest mining and metallurgical company.

City of Murmansk

The construction of an international trade centre with office space for Russian and foreign companies will start this fall.

Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Jonas Gahr Stшre

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre says that the Norwegian Coast Guard’s inspections in the waters around Spitsbergen are “legitimate, unbiased and just”.