Sunday, May 26

Greeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to the participants and guests of the 15th Kirkenes Conference

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I cordially welcome the participants and guests of the 15th Kirkenes Conference dedicated to the socio-economic and industrial development of the Far North.

Over the past years, the forum has established itself as one of the leading platforms for discussing pressing issues of international cooperation in a constructive, depoliticized manner.

Such a favorable state of affairs is facilitated by the traditions of mutual assistance and good-neighborliness formed in this part of the Arctic, as well as an unprecedented high level of cross-border ties. The unique “two-storey structure” of the Barents Cooperation makes it possible to determine the most promising areas of joint efforts and optimally combine the priorities of states with the interests of individual regions.

It is obvious that the fight against the spread of coronavirus infection gives a new dimension to regional cooperation. Now on the agenda is joint work in the field of healthcare, as well as assistance to post-pandemic recovery. We welcome the vigorous activity in these areas within the framework of the Barents Council/The Euro-Arctic region and the Barents Regional Council.

We hope that the multilateral Barents cooperation will maintain its momentum and continue to contribute to maintaining an atmosphere of trust, stability and good-neighborliness in the North of Europe. Today’s meeting is intended to contribute to the solution of this task. I am convinced that it will be held in a business atmosphere and will be very fruitful.

I wish you successful work and all the best.




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