Increased funds for Barents Secretariat
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat has received its annual funds from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it has been increased by one million kroner from last year. The total funds for 2009 are 35 million NOK, or approximately 4.4 EUR.
30 million for cooperation
Of the total grant, 5.1 NOK will be used to run the Office in Kirkenes and the Russian offices in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Naryan Mar.
“The remaining 30 million NOK will be used to finance new Barents Projects for cooperation between Norwegians and Russians,” says Secretary General Rune Rafaelsen.
As the MFA continues to increase the annual grants for the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Rafaelsen notes this as a clear sign of their belief in the job performed by his staff. It is also a confirmation to the Barents program’s contribution in strengthening the ties between Norwegians and Russians.
In addition to the annual funding of the Barents Secretariats main project funding program, MFA has also granted 3 million NOK to the Culture program BarentsKult. BarentsKult was launched last year and is aimed at supporting larger art- and culture projects in the Norwegian and Russian part of the Barents Region
Seed money fund
In 2009 the Norwegian Barents Secretariat are doubling the funds of sport projects and there will also be an own program for sports projects.
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat also sees the need to strengthening the regional business cooperation. One plan is to establish a seed money fund for Norwegian-Russian business cooperation.
“When the development of the Shtokman gas field starts, it will turn everything upside down in this region. Norwegian enterprises must be ready for this development. The platform established through 16 years of Barents Cooperation is an excellent base for strengthening Norwegian participation in the development,” says Rafaelsen.
By Jonas Sjøkvist Karlsbakk, Source: www.barents.no.