The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) was established at Norway’s initiative by the Kirkenes Declaration in 1993. It facilitated stability and sustainable development in the Barents region, which covered the northern parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and.. Russia until September 18, 2023.
The Barents Region is the most populous and the most economically developed region of the Arctic with vast resources, a strong scientific and innovation base and significant tourism potential. However, the overall awareness of this regional model of interaction remained weak for decades. Thus, the countries of the region, again and again, reiterated their commitment to international cooperation and cross-border activities.
In this context, it seemed useful to hold thematic sessions on the Barents cooperation during major Arctic events, including Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø (Norway), the Arctic: Territory of Dialogue International Forum in Saint Petersburg (Russia), Arctic Spirit Conference in Rovaniemi (Finland)…
In 2021-2023 Finland chaired BEAC, and the Chairmanship was to be handed over to Russia in October 2023. During 2023-2025, Russia had to lead two regional organizations at a time, the BEAC and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). Russian Chairmanship should be focused on improving the relevance of both Councils’ practical activities and making them project-oriented. In this regard, Russia always supported Norway’s and Finland’s course towards strengthening cooperation in education and science, as well as improving people-to-people contacts within academic communities of the Barents and the Baltic Sea regions.
Nothing lasts forever.
Finland’s Chairmanship did not confirm its readiness to transfer leadership of the BEAC to Russia in violation of the principle of rotation, disrupting relevant preparatory activities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said in a statement.