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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.

Norwegian counties

The Norwegian government has decided to drop its announced plans for a major merger of counties. Originally, the number of counties was to be reduced from 19 to between six and eight.

Russian elections

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitrii Medvedev will on Sunday be elected the third president of the Russian Federation. Election results from Northwest Russia might however be among his worst.

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen

-Russians are welcome to Norway, the Norwegian Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion said when presenting the new Norwegian white paper on work immigration today. The new Norwegian legislation might mark a historic point in Norwegian-Russian cross-border relations

Photo: alexstubb.com

Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Stubb, believes in a free trade area, in which goods would move between Russia and the EU without tariffs. - I am the generation for whom there has been a Russia. I remember the Soviet Union mainly as a magnificent hockey team, with CCCP written on their shirts, says Stubb and underlines that his personal goal is to link Russia more closely to the European system.

-There is no other option than to involve and engage Russia, Head of the Norwegian Mission to the European Union Ms Oda H. Sletnes says in an interview with the EU-Russia Centre.

Dmitrii Medvedev inaugurated (kremlin.ru)

In his inauguration speech today, Dmitrii Medvedev highlighted that people’s freedom, the rule of law, economic prospering and the development of civil society will be main keywords for his presidential rule.

Sergey Yastrzhembskii

The Russian top presidential representative to the European Union, Mr. Sergey Yastrzhembskii, is leaving his Brussels post. Sources in the Foreign Ministry say the post will be eliminated.

The EU and Russia

In the aftermath of the recent NATO summit in Bucharest, there is a growing sense in the European policy community that the continent needs to effectively deal with its biggest neighbour – Russia, EUobserver.com reports.

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

Photo: Government.ru

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday presented his new cabinet to President Dmitrii Medvedev. The key government posts remain in the hands of well-known former ministers and Putin protégés.

Sergey Shmatko

The new Russian government appears set to put new emphasis on the development of nuclear power. Sergei Shmatko, head of a company that builds nuclear reactors worldwide, was yesterday approved as the country’s new energy minister.

The European Union is ready to start up talks with Russia about a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the Union’s Slovenian Presidency confirms.

President Dmitrii Medvedev

Most of the officials in the Russian presidential administration will remain in their posts under new president Dmitrii Medvedev. The few new faces in the administration either come from Gazprom or from the former government.