Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s media statement following the plenary session of the 18th Ministerial Meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, Tromso, October 26, 2021
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Norwegian leadership for everything they have done as the chair of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC). Their efforts culminated with today’s event, during which we took several important decisions.
We signed a joint declaration that outlines the key directions of our future work on the economy, transport, logistics, infrastructure, the environment, climate, small indigenous peoples, youth policy, healthcare and education.
After several years of preparations, we created the Barents financial mechanism for funding projects implemented by BEAC working groups.
We also adopted an Action Plan on Climate Change for the Barents Cooperation Council that covers the period from 2021 until 2025. Its purpose is to ensure that climate is factored into all BEAC projects. I believe this to be quite important.
We just had a meeting with the Youth Regional Council. It was quite useful, ensuring continuity between generations, and most importantly enabling us to deliver on the aspirations and wishes we heard from young people during the Finnish chairmanship.
The Barents Regional Council is an important format. It is also about to have a new chair as Vasterbotten hands over the chairmanship to the Nenets Autonomous Area. Its Governor, Yury Bezdudny, will now head the regional structure of our Council in 2022-2023. The Russian Government views this as one of the stages in preparing for the BEAC chairmanship that we will receive after our Finnish neighbours.
I do believe that this session was quite useful and has proven yet again that when we work on practical matters, we can deliver results, without being distracted by ideological differences and geopolitical games.
Once again, thank you, Norway.