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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.

Many European governments believe relations between the EU and Russia will turn towards the better after the election of Dmitry Medvedev as president. That however might not be the case.

Boris Vorobyov (geraldinka.org)

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.

This year’s EU-Russia Summit, the first with President Dmitri Medvedev, today started in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia. One of the centrepieces of the Summit will be the official launch of negotiations on the new agreement with Russia.

Eneko Landaburu (Europa.eu)

Russia has an advantage over the EU by being able to speak with one voice, EU Commission chief negotiator on a new strategic partnership treaty between the Union and Russia says.

Medvedev, Barroso (Kremlin.ru)

“We, the leaders of the European Union and Russia, today started the negotiations on a new Russia-EU Agreement, which will replace the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement from 1997”, a joint statement from today’s EU-Russia summit reads.

Dmitrii Medvedev (kremlin.ru)

President Dmitry Medvedev accepted an invitation from his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen to visit Finland, but could not promise to drop the new export tariffs on timber.

EU and Russia

Representatives of Russia and the EU Commission today met in Brussels to kickstart negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement.

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

Head of the Russian State Duma’s Committee of International Affairs says Russia and the EU will be ready to open up for visa-free travel in three years.

The Arctic and the Barents Sea

Russia prepares to present an application to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf when it next convenes in 2009, Russian law maker and Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov said last week. The bid includes control over a 1,2 million square kilometres part of the Arctic shelf

Photo montage (BarentsObserver)

President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday announced that unprecedented powers over Russia’s foreign policy will be transferred from the president’s office to the prime minister.

Dmitrii Medvedev (rost.ru)

President Dmitry Medvedev today came to Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, where he chaired a session in the State Council. He also met with regional Governor Sergey Katanandov.

-There are five countries participating in the race for the Arctic, and we are lagging behind all of them, U.S. congressman Rick Larsen said in a congress hearing this week.