Some 1000 parents and children in the Komi Republic have received help through the Barents cooperation program “Children and youth at risk”.

Alexander Stubb, famous in the Barents Region for branding the north as the world´s most sexy region, is put on track to take over after Jyrki Katainen.

Oslo asks Moscow for an explanation after BarentsObserver earlier today reported that Russia’s sanctioned Deputy Prime Minister suddenly appeared on Svalbard.

When Natalia Kolesnik left work this evening, she closed the doors of Murmansk’s only independent youth house behind her for the last time.

Russia and the WTO (illustration by BarentsObserver)

Russia is unlikely to succeed with its much-announced intention to become member of the World Trade Organization in the course of 2011.

Conservative leader Erna Solberg forms a minority government with the Progress party with parliament backing from the Liberals and Christian Democrats based on an agreement not to open for controversial Arctic oil drilling.

Russia’s new prime minister Vladimir Putin will head to Finland in the course of May, Finnish media reports

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller this week says he expects countries around the North Pole to respect international laws when settling territorial claims in the Arctic. Next week the Arctic costal states meet at Greenland to discuss the rules that apply to the Arctic Ocean.

Boris Vorobyov (

Boris Vorobyov was yesterday approved as new first deputy governor of Murmansk Oblast. Discussions in the regional duma was heated ahead of the vote, with opposition parties arguing that Mr. Vorobyov had a criminal record.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre

The Norwegian government’s High North policy is criticized by employees within the ministry of Foreign Affaires. The critics say that the government has presented ambitions for the High North which can never be realized.

Dmitrii Medvedev

In a meeting with journalists this week, President Dmitrii Medvedev underlined that the Russian border regions are a top priority in the country’s foreign policy.

The Russian North

Russia is developing a new strategy on the Arctic. In a meeting with the national Security Council yesterday, President Medvedev highlighted the region as vital for Russian national and economic interests.

The EU-Russia negotiations over a new cooperation treaty might again end up in limbo as EU member Lithuania demands that the talks are put on halt until Russia pulls more troops out of the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhasia.

The European Commission yesterday officially confirmed that it supports resumed talks with Russia on a partnership deal.

The victory of Sergey Subbotin in Sunday’s city mayor’s elections in Murmansk was a major expression of confidence for regional Governor Yury Yevdokimov and a major blow to the United Russia Party. However, Mr. Subbotin is himself a staunch supporter of the United Russia Party and will loyally follow up the party line in the Russian Arctic capital.