Barents Cooperation unlimited

The delimitation of the Barents Sea opens completely new opportunities for cooperation and development in the North, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in his speech in Tromsø last week.


UPDATE: Støre’s speech now available in English at the Foreign Ministry’s web site.

“The lack of a border has been a limitation. Now the drawing of a border opens opportunities, Foreign Minister Støre highlighted in the speech held last Friday at the University of Tromsø.

Minister Støre believes the Norwegian-Russian deal on the delimitation of the Barents Sea will mean a lot for resource development, regional businesses, jobs, knowledge development and welfare.

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The Minister stressed the responsibility to develop the Barents Sea as “a sea of cooperation”, and also the Barents Region as a “region of cooperation”.

-We want to encourage the development of the international cooperation in the North, both practically, strategically and analytically. We want to build strong and stable neighborhoods and develop committing joint solutions where needed. And we want to support the forces in the North, which are ready to seize these opportunities, Støre told the audience of regional leaders, scholars and students.

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He also stressed that Northern Norway itself must be in command of the developments, and that the government does not want to impose its High North strategy on the region.

Since becoming foreign minister in 2005, Støre has successfully lead negotiations on the delineation of Norwegian waters. In 2006, Norway settled its borders with Denmark/Greenland in the waters between Svalbard and Greenland. The same year, border agreements were reached with Iceland and the Faroe Islands. And then, in 2010, the historic agreement was reached with Russia on the delimitation of the 175000 square kilometer zone in the Barents Sea.

In addition, Norway in 2009 also got its claims on the Arctic continental shelf approved by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.


The full speech of Minister Støre is available at the website of the Foreign Ministry.