”Norway and Russia are continuously developing a closer cooperation in important fields. We see this in the agreement on the maritime boundary in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian-Russian fisheries collaboration, the energy collaboration, maritime search and rescue routines and early warning routines at possible nuclear emissions in the north”, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said after talks in St. Petersburg today with his Russian colleague, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The results of the Norwegian-Russian fisheries collaboration demonstrate that cooperation and proper management may be fruitful.
“This year’s catch quota for cod is historically large – 1 million tons. Fisheries are of major importance to the economy of both countries, in particular as a business for the population up north. The maritime delimitation treaty secures that the good fisheries collaboration between our countries may continue, and also offers new possibilities for economic activities. The activity we have seen so far indicate what we may expect in the future”, Stoltenberg said after the meeting.
Medvedev and Stoltenberg also discussed the Barents Anniversary in Kirkenes 3-4 June.
“We talked about the Barents Anniversary in Kirkenes in June. There participant states will mark the 20th anniversary of the Barents Region Cooperation and sign a new Kirkenes Declaration. The 1993 Declaration has contributed to increased confidence and cooperation between participant states and their regions up north. The new declaration will take this further, with a particular emphasis on promoting business cooperation”, Stoltenberg said.
In the meeting with Medvedev Stoltenberg also brought up restrictions towards the civil society in Russia.
“I expressed my concern at the restrictions that recently have been imposed on the civil society in Russia. We see that such legal changes have already had their impact on the cooperation between Norwegian and Russian voluntary organisations”, said Stoltenberg.
“I also discussed the serious situation in the Korean Peninsula with Medvedev. We are both concerned for the situation and the possible consequences for regional stability and security in East Asia. Russia has played an important role as participant in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea. In the recent time the rhetoric has become sharper. It is now vital to avoid an escalation. North Korea has the main responsibility to lower the conflict level and return to the negotiation table”, said Stoltenberg.
The meeting between Medvedev and Stoltenberg took place after the Environmental Protection Conference in St. Petersburg. Russia presently holds the presidency of the Baltic Sea Council. The conference is a follow-up of a Finnish 2010 call for a summit to look into what can be done to improve the environmental conditions of the Baltic Sea.
“The Baltic Sea is still ecologically out of balance, due long-term destructive emissions from agriculture, industry and households. I am happy to see that the Baltic Sea Council countries are increasingly becoming aware that the future development in the region should be based on environmentally sustainable efforts. Norway is actively contributing to reduce emissions”, said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.