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No “Hard Talk” when Talking Barents



Talking Barents - with moderator Stephen Sackur, Cecilie Myrseth and Thomas Hallberg. Photo by Jonas Karlsbakk.

Barents is usually not in the center of the discussion during Artic Frontiers Conference in Tromso. That was something that the Norwegian Barents Secretariat wanted to change when they invited the Talking Barents Panel discussion on the first conference day this year. The Panel, with chair of Troms County Government Cecilie Myrseth, Gleb Yarovoy from Petrozavodsk State University, Arild Moe from Fridtjof Nansen Institute and Tomas Hallberg from International Barents Secretariat tried to explain what the concreate cooperation in Barents means.

Cecilie Myrseth underlined that cooperation on political level in the north does not only continue but is also developing and gave an example how she and a delegation from Tromso were in Murmansk just some weeks ago and signed a new agreement about cooperation with the Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun. Tomas Hallberg tried to paint a picture about what is going on in the Barents Cooperation, but also stressed that it is almost impossible to explain what two boards, 14 regions, 14 working groups and several ministerial meetings are doing in just 5 minutes. “The basic knowledge about Barents needs to be improved“ he said and taunted Stephen Sackur, the Moderator known from BBC Hard Talk. “You said in one of the first sessions that Arctic has 3,2 million citizens but we count for 5,2 million in the Barents“, Hallberg continued with a smile.


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