29.06.2017
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Revival of years-long friendship

27.01.17

The recent years were the turning point for the cross-border cooperation between Russia, Norway and Finland. Ruble devaluation, sanctions, decreased tourist traffic and trade turnover seemed to be destructive enough to put an end to the years-long cross-border cooperation. Though in less than two years decision-makers of the Northern regions start talking about the revival of Russian-Norwegian and Russian-Finnish cooperation. SeverPost has talked to experts and politicians to find out how the cross-border cooperation is currently developing.

Thus, according to the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia in Norway Teimuraz Ramishvili, the neighboring countries keep cooperating in the fields of fishing and ecology since this is where their interests meet. Though there are still many problems in the Russian-Norwegian relations.

One of them is weakening collaboration in the oil sector. 

“We keep cooperating in the oil sector, but since Norway supports sanctions, the investment cooperation has been terminated which is vital for the development of oil-and-gas projects,” explained T.Ramishvili.

He added that both countries are enduring decrease of trade turnover. But while the Russian export decreased by 10-17%, Norway exported almost 50% less.

Besides, the Russian MFA is concerned about military activities near the border. We shall remind that recently 300 US marines arrived to Norway for deployment. The Plenipotentiary Ambassador noted that the Russian diplomats will monitor the process.

This is the situation on the federal level. Meanwhile on the regional level, according to T.Ramishvili, the cooperation has always been stronger, especially in the Murmansk region. The Ambassador said that Northern Norway is the only region where the tourist traffic and business contacts have become even stronger.

Earlier the Mayor of border town Kirkenes – Rune Rafaelsen – also told that in recent months there has been a slight increase of Russian tourists’ arrivals to Kirkenes. The Norwegian Consul General in Murmansk Ole Andreas Lindeman has also recently underlined that there have been positive developments in the Russian-Norwegian relations.

Despite the political situation, northern regions of Norway and Russia also maintain scientific cooperation.

“For 25 years Akvaplan-niva has been cooperating with Russian scientists and implementing joint projects in Russia and Norway. We’re deeply concerned about the current situation and do everything possible to support our contacts with Russian scientists,” said Salve Dale, the Head of Norwegian company specialized in exploring of marine/ freshwater ecology and aquaculture development.

The situation in Northern Finland is also improving – due to ruble strengthening the tourist traffic grows.

In 2010 there was an increase of tourist arrivals coming from Murmansk to Oulu. A number of exhibitions including “Kola Partneriat” were carried out. In the past two years the tourist traffic has obviously decreased by appr. 50%. Now when ruble is strengthening (end of 2016 – beginning of 2017) the tourist traffic is slightly growing and we’re expecting a new wave of Russians,” told representative of the Regional Council of Northern Ostrobothnia Roman Gokkorev.

Besides Finland has relaunched the Kolarctic programme which provides funding for the cross-border cooperation.

“We’re expecting the cooperation between the Murmansk region and Laplandia to strengthen in the coming years. From January, 23 we started accepting applications for Kolarctic grants, which financially support such cooperation. The previous programme proved to be productive and we had good results. Four years have passed since then and the first projects of the new Kolarctic programme shall be launched in autumn 2017,” informed SeverPost the Director of the Regional Council of Lapland Päivi Ekdahl.

Finnish authorities also count on cooperation with Russia in the field of high technologies. Thus in December 2016 during his visit to Oulu the Russian Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev had a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipilä where they discussed the project of laying fiber-optic cable along the Northern Sea Route.

Finland puts special hopes on its forthcoming chairmanship in the Arctic Council in the frame of which cooperation with Russia may be developed.

Thus, it can be summarized that the cross-border cooperation between Russia, Norway and Finland has been revived despite all the challenges that have to be solved to restore the good neighborly relation between the countries.


16.05.17

First shipment of spent nuclear fuel to be moved out from the Andreev Bay in June

June 27 is the date of the official ceremony that will mark the start of removing SNF for further processing from the Andreev Bay.  The ceremony will be joined by officials from Rosatom State Corporation, Norwegian MFA and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.  The SNF management facilities and engineering systems were created in the Andreev Bay by

14.05.17

Salmon fishing season postponed on the Kola Peninsula

The salmon fishing season has been postponed in the Murmansk region. Due to prolonged winter the salmon fishing season opening day has been shifted off for two weeks, informed the Murmansk Fishing Regulatory Agency. “In view of unfavorable weather conditions, opening of the fishing season on the Kola river and installation of a 24-hour license point in the Molochniy

05.05.17

FSB special operation in the Murmansk region: arms dealers detained

Two men selling ammunition to firearms have been detained, informs the press-service of the Murmansk regional FSB. According to FSB, a criminal case has been filed under Article 30, part 3 of the RF Criminal Code (attempted crime) and Article 222, part 2 (illegal purchase, transfer, trade, storage, transportation, carrying of weapons, its parts and

03.05.17

Caution! The center of Murmansk crumbling!

The Stalin-era buildings in the center of Murmansk that haven’t been refurbished for several years are becoming potentially unsafe.  The walls are crumbling, pieces of bricks are falling out. A car parked by Lenina 77 has been damaged –only one so far. The Sofii Perovskoy 10 is marked with warning signs due to pieces of facing falling down.  That is

27.04.17

Forest preserve with 350-years old pines to be created on the Russian-Norwegian border

The project of Korablekk Forest preserve to be established in the Pechenga district of the Murmansk region will be considered in the Regional Government on Friday, informed the Government’ spress-service. The park is to be created next to the specially protected nature area Pasvik at the Russian-Norwegian border. It’s peculiarity will bethe

24.04.17

Government lacks 48 bln rubles for the Murmansk Transport Hub completion

The State intends to complete the construction of the Murmansk Transport Hub according to private-public partnership that implies enticement of investors, reported the Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov at the meeting in Murmansk. “Theonlyopportunityforustokeeptheprojectsalive (…) isprivate-publicpartnership. I’m also convinced that we should use this

21.04.17

A 1.5 bln waste treatment plant to be built in the region by the end of 2017

Waste reloading stations in Severomorsk, Aleksandrovsk, Zaozersk and Ura-Bay, a disposal site and a waste treatment plant in Murmansk will be commissioned by the end of this year, told SeverPost Deputy Director of “Waste Treatment” Murmansk subsidiary Vitaliy Izmailov.   “Each year the disposal site will receive 250 tons of waste of 4 and 5 hazard

20.04.17

The first patrol ice-breaker laid down in Saint-Petersburg

The first patrol ice-breaker “Ivan Papanin” (project 23550) built under the order of the RF Navy was laid down on April, 19 at the Admiralty Shipyards, informed the press-service of the enterprise.   In 2016 the RF Ministry of Defense ordered the Admiralty Shipyards to build two ice-class patrol ice-breakers (project 23550) that should be handed over to the

12.04.17

Zello users from Murmansk appeal to Roskomnadzor

Users of Zello application (channel “Murmansk-51”) appeal to the Head of the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor) requesting not to close the application. We, the users of Zello channel “Murmansk-51” and residents of different cities, ask you not to close the ZELLO application on the territory of

07.04.17

New quotas and terms of salmon fishing announced in the Murmansk region

In 2017 Murmansk region may catch 95 tons of Atlantic salmon and 330 tons of pink salmon, reports the press-service of the Murmansk Regional Government referring to the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fishery and Oceanography. “Out of these volumes 1.88 tons are earmarked for scientific-research purposes, 2.515 ton for breeding and 1 ton for traditional activities of

29.03.17

Nornickel opens upgraded Murmansk Transshipment terminal

Nornickel finished the upgrading of the second berth of its Murmansk Transport Division Today. The second project phase will enable the terminal to work at full capacity and almost double its cargo traffic, from 780,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes per year. Storage capacity is 100,000 square meters. The berths are equipped with gantry cranes with a lifting capacity of

29.03.17

Anti-corruption picket joined by 110 participants

According to the official data of the Murmansk regional Police, the anti-corruption public campaign was joined by 110 participants. The picket to support the investigation of Aleksey Navalny’s was held peacefully unlike other Russian cities.  “There were 110 picketers. The pictures show more people due to another public cultural activity also held

29.03.17

Dmitry Medvedev to depart for the Arctic from Murmansk

Instead of the RF President Vladimir Putin who should have arrived to Murmansk on the 20th of March, the Murmansk airport expects now Dmitry Medvedev. “It is expected that on the 29th of March the Head of the Government will leave for the Arctic to inspect military facilities on the Franz Josef Land. Visit to Barneo drifting station is not in the schedule,” source

29.06.2017
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