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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.

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.

Ilya Klebanov

President Dmitrii Medvedev yesterday announced the names of his top representatives in the seven federal districts. Ilya Klebanov remains head of the Northwest Russian Federal District.

Lavrov, Støre (Barentsphoto.com)

Norway and Russias foreign ministers, Jonas Gahr Støre and Sergey Lavrov, have agreed to make the disputed area between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea one of the main topics in their meetings in Kirkenes and Murmansk in June.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to come to Arkhangelsk on 11 July.

Illustration: Canada.bc.ca

Together with several of his top cabinet ministers, Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper will later this month go to the far northern town of Tuktoyaktuk, where he is expected to proclaim his country’s Arctic claims. The Arctic is now increasingly becoming a hot issue is Canadian politics.

EU and the Arctic

The rapidly proceeding climate change, prospects of oil and gas development, as well as maritime opportunities, have made the EU show greater interest in Arctic issues. An EU Arctic Policy is in the pipeline, and will bring the Arctic further up in the European agenda, a new report from the Nordic Council of Ministers reads.

Sergey Lavrov (BarentsPhoto.com)

President Dmitrii Medvedev is preparing a set of measure on how to improve relations with the West. One of the measures is the replacement of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

An internal EU paper on relations with Russia highlights insufficient Russian measures on international trade and recommends stalled WTO talks. At the same time, the document is soft on security issues and consequences after the war in Georgia.

Yuri Yevdokimov

The regional government in Murmansk is preparing a set of counter-crisis measures, to help regional economy withstand the credit crunch.

The EU Eastern Partnership

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accuses the European Union of expanding its “sphere of influence” on post-Soviet territory and that the quest for hydrocarbons is the driving force.