News and Updates 2017

BEAC Chairmanship was handed over from Russia to Sweden in Arkhangelsk


All four Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia gathered in the high-level meeting in Arkhangelsk. Denmark, Iceland and the EU had their representatives as well as the heads of the Barents Regional Council and the Regional Committee along with other Barents regional representatives were present in the meeting.

Priorities for the Swedish Chairmanship 2017-2019


Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov handing over the Chairman hammer to Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström. Picture by: Pavel Kononov, Press Service of the Government of Arkhangelsk region (

The Chairmanship was handed over from Russia to Sweden. Margot Wallström, the Foreign Minister of Sweden presented the priorities of the two upcoming years.

During the BEAC Chairmanship Sweden will pursue an agenda based on sustainable development, respect for human rights and gender equality. In each of these areas, the emphasis will lie on enhancing people-to-people contacts, especially for the younger generation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement will provide the basis for this work.

The Swedish Chairmanship will seek also to create a joint vision and define future strategic priorities for Barents cooperation.

Looking back the Russian Chairmanship period


Picture by: Jonas Karlsbakk, Norwegian Barents Secretariat.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, concluded the Russian chairmanship by looking back into the two-years period with emphasis on improving transport and logistics infrastructure, protecting the environment and fighting climate change, promoting cultural cooperation and tourism, developing the forest sector, protecting the rights of the indigenous peoples, as well as trans-border economic ties, healthcare, scientific and youth exchanges and joint response to emergencies.

Next year Barents cooperation is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Russia proposed establishing a high-level regional forum, a so-called “Barents Davos” to tackle the entire regional agenda with emphasis on sustainable socio-economic and environmental development.


Picture by: Jonas Karlsbakk, Norwegian Barents Secretariat.

The Joint Declaration adopted in the session reflects practical solutions designed to give the Barents Cooperation a further boost. You may read the Joint Declaration here.

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