Press release on the 18th Ministerial Meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council
On October 25-26, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attended the 18th Ministerial Meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) held in Tromso, Norway.
The ministers reviewed the organisation’s activities during Norway’s Chairmanship in 2019-2021. They noted progress in environmental protection, climate change, healthcare cooperation and recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border economic and transport links, the rights of indigenous peoples, and youth exchanges.
The Joint Declaration based on the meeting results covers the Council’s achievements in promoting cooperation in the key BEAC areas and its future objectives.
The participants approved the statute of the Barents Financial Mechanism, which is scheduled to be launched in 2022. The mechanism will be used to allocate start-up capital for low-budget regional cross-border projects.
The heads of delegations also adopted an updated Action Plan on Climate Change for the Barents Cooperation, which covers the period from 2021 until 2025.
The BEAC chairmanship was handed over from Norway to Finland, which will chair it in 2021-2023, while the Swedish Vasterbotten Province passed the baton in the Barents Regional Council to the Nenets Autonomous Area. The Nenets Area’s chairmanship will be important for preparing Russia to assume the BEAC Chairmanship in 2023-2025.