ARKHANGELSK, October 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold the 16th ministerial meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) in Arkhangelsk on Thursday, an official with the Foreign Ministry told TASS.
The BEAC includes Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the European Commission. The ministerial meeting will be the final event of Russia’s chairmanship in the Council in 2015-2017.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the meeting’s agenda will include the key issues for the Euro-Arctic region that were in focus during Russia’s chairmanship: improving transport and logistics infrastructure, environment protection and combating climate change, as well as cultural cooperation and growing attractiveness of the North for international tourism.
During its presidency in BEAC Russia also paid attention to development of cross-border economic ties, ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples, educational, scientific and youth exchanges, and joint response to emergencies.
After the meeting the parties are expected to sign a joint declaration. The document will contain solutions aimed at further sustainable social, economic and environmental development of the Barents Sea region, especially in the light of the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the Barents Cooperation in 2018.
"As part of the BEAC event in Arkhangelsk, the first Barents scholarship in the field of cultural cooperation will be granted," the ministry said.
On the sidelines of the BEAC meeting, Lavrov is to meet with his counterparts from BEAC member countries.
The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) is the forum for intergovernmental cooperation on issues concerning the Barents region.
The BEAC meets at Foreign Ministers' level in the chairmanship country at the end of each BEAC chairmanship term.
The chairmanship rotates every second year between Norway, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
Russia took over the BEAC Chairmanship from Finland at the 15th BEAC Ministerial Session in Oulu, Finland on 14th October 2015. The next chair of the BEAC will be Sweden (2017-2019).