The European Union has spent 18 months to agree with itself about a mandate for new talks on a renewed partnership agreement with Russia. Head of EU’s delegation to Russia says the negotiations with the Russians will be no easier. He indicates that they might last for more than a year.
Amid heavy support from the governor, acting city mayor Viktor Pavlenko failed to win this weekends mayors election in Arkhangelsk. Larisa Bazanova, a previously unknown businesswoman from Moscow, will be the new mayor of Arkhangelsk, the local election commission confirms.
The Danish government has invited government ministers from Canada, Norway, Russia and the United States to discussions about borders and resources in the Arctic. The meeting takes place as the North Pole ice is melting at record speed and as commercial interests in transport and industry in the region increases.
Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb this week broke new ground when proposing that the country introduce visa exemptions for Russians. Finnish authorities however remain split on whether to ease visa relations with the big neighbour.
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.
United Nations Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) has never been ratified by USA. During the Arctic Ocean Conference on Greenland, USA has given clear indications that they might change view on this issue.
Climate change and the Arctic, international law, national interests, Russia and the Barents Cooperation were among the field of priorities in Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støres recent foreign policy address to parliament.
-I am convinced that we will make progress in the negotiations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently said. Norways Jonas Gahr Støre confirms that the 175,000 square kilometre disputed zone in the Barents Sea is a topic every time he meets with the Russian minister.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre will in todays meeting with Russias Sergey Lavrov propose the establishment of special cross-border travel permissions for the people living in the Norwegian-Russian borderlands.
Murmansk Oblast is one of the Russian regions most engaged in international cooperation. This week, the region’s legislative assembly made an important step towards enhanced political cooperation with neighbouring Norway.