Norway and Russia sign maritime delimitation agreement

Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov at det signing of the maritime delimitation agreement. (Photo: Jonas Karlsbakk)

MURMANSK: The treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean was signed in Murmansk today. See the images from the ceremony and follow the link to the agreement here.


The treaty was signed some minutes before 5 pm downtown Murmansk today by the Norwegian and Russian Foreign Ministers Jonas Gahr Støre and Sergey Lavrov. Both President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg were attending the ceremony.

Both Medvedev and Stoltenberg said at the press-conference afterwards that Murmansk was the most natural place to sign such historical treaty between the two nations.

- Murmansk is very important in the cooperation between our two countries, said President Medvedev. The Norwegian Prime Minister said: - I am glad the agreement is signed here in Murmansk. Murmansk is a node in the cooperation between Norway and Russia.

The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg came to Murmansk together with four of his Ministers earlier on Wednesday.

- This is a historic milestone. The treaty resolves what for several decades remained the most important outstanding issue between Norway and Russia. We are pleased that we have now established the maritime boundary between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean,” said Prime Minister Stoltenberg, at the press-conference in Murmansk.

In addition to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, the Norwegian Government was present with its Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Mrs. Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Minister of Environment, Mr. Erik Solheim and Minister and Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen.

The treaty marks the end of a long process that started in 1970. The breakthrough in the negotiations was made public during President Medvedev’s visit to Norway on 27 April this year, when the Norwegian and Russian foreign ministers signed a joint statement announcing that the two countries’ negotiating delegations had reached preliminary agreement on delimitation.

Read the text of the treaty from this link at the web-portal of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The treaty must be approved by the Norwegian Storting and the Russian Duma before it can enter into force.