News : Nordic Contact Centre in Murmansk Closed
Murmansk, March 20, 2014 -- Yury Smirnov can’t longer promote Nordic-Russian cooperation on the Kola Peninsula. In addition; President of Nordic Council called off planned visit to Murmansk because of the tense situation with Russia.
Yury Smirnov has for more than a decade worked with Nordic financed projects in the Murmansk region, mainly in the sphere of culture, education and exchange. Now, the door to the office is closed after a decision by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ administration earlier this winter.
"In my opinion, the Nordic Council will definitely be less visible here," says Yuri Smirnov to BarentsObserver.
"Already initiated projects will be followed up, like the Nordic Days with a long list of Cultural program to take place in early April. But, I don’t what are the perspectives for future Nordic projects," Yury Smirnov explains.
The office was opened in 2000 and was for the first 12 years located next to the Norwegian Barents Secretariat’s office in Murmansk.
The office was closed before the last weeks’ development with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and current EU sanctions against Moscow. A contact point in Arkhangelsk financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers will now take over potential projects- and information needs in the Murmansk region.
Although the door to the office is finally closed the Nordic Council’s web-portal still promotes the importance of the office.
"The overall task of the Contact Centres is to facilitate contacts, networking and partnership between the NCM Secretariat, Information office in St. Petersburg and local authorities, representations, institutions and organizations. Furthermore the Contact Centres ensure distribution of information about NCM policies and programs in Barents Region," the web-portal reads.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, March 21, 2014