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Medvedev to attend meeting of BEAC Heads of Govt

June 03, 2013, 7:16 UTC+3

The meeting will be the central event of Norway's presidency at BEAC

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MOSCOW, June 3 (Itar-Tass) - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Kirkenes, Norway, on June 3-4 to attend a meeting of the Heads of Government of the Barents Euro Arctic Council (BEAC), a Russian government source said.

Those present at the meeting, which is timed to coincide with the 20th jubilee of cooperation, are expected to sum up the results of BEAC activitie and discuss ways to strengthen regional interaction, including that with due regard for new opportunities that open up as a result of the signing of the Treaty between Russia and Norway in 2010 on delimitation of sea expanses and on cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, and of the Agreement on the streamlining of the procedure for reciprocal travel by the residents of border territories, and considering prospects for international merchant shipping along the Northern Sea Route.

Participants in the session are to adopt a Declaration which is expectred to reflect Russia-suggested priorities for BEAC activities: the need to establish BEAC's own instrument to finance projects, an equal approach of regions to participation in programmes, the establishment, in prospect, of a common market of labour force and visa-free arragements for reciprocal travel, refinement of coordination between northern regional councils, etc.

An emphasis will be also laid on efforts to advance cooperation in such areas as the formation of conditions for a sustainable and dynamic development of the region, the preparation of an Action Plan on Climate, modernization of transport infrastructure, the study of prospects for the development of navigation along the Northern Sea Route, the protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples.

Participants in the session will emphasize theneed for a comprehensive estimate of theresource potential of the region, including not only natural resources but also, primarily, knowledge accumulated in the region, the experience gained, scientific potential and qualified personnel.

The meeting will be the central event of Norway's presidency at BEAC. In autumn 2013, BEAC presidency will pass from Norway to Finland. Russia presided over BEAC in the 2007-2009 period.

BEAC was founded in 1993. It brings together Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, as well as the European Commission. BEAC activities are to a considerable extent oriented towards rendering assistance in comprehensive development of territories in northern Europe, including Russia's north-western regions (Republic of Karelia, Komi Republic, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions, and the Nenets Autonomous Area).

Talks will be held between Medvedev and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Kirkenes on June 4. They are expected to discuss key matters regarding Russo-Norwegian relations, including refinement of the legal-treaty basis, advancement of trade-and-economic cooperation, also that within the context of Partnership for Modernization, the development of northern regions, the problems of Russia's presence on the Spitsbergen Archipelago.

The two Premiers are also to lay wreaths at the Monumen to the Soviet Liberation Warrior in Kirkenes.

The sides are planning to sign an agremeent berween the Russian Border Guarding Agency and the Norwegian Ministy of Justice on interaction and exchanges of information on the development of crossing stations on the State border, as well as an intergovernmental Memorandum on the training of managerial personnel for the economies of Russia and Norway.


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