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  Saturday, December 7, 2019
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The European countries on the Barents Sea and Russia plan to create a railroad transportation corridor that will link the northern European ports with the Urals
The plan was announced on Tuesday at a session of the Council of the Barents European Arctic Region that opened in Petrozavodsk. Representatives of the foreign ministries of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway, the administrations of the northwestern regions of Russia and provinces of Scandinavian countries and foreign companies that are involved in the council's projects attended the session. The Barents Link transportation corridor projects provides for the construction of a railroad from the shore of the Gulf of Bothnia to Perm, Russia. The plan also calls for the construction of additional sections of railroad and branch lines, and standardizing the width of the railroad. It is also planned to construct storage terminals along the railroad, adapt Russian locomotives and train cars to international standards, and provide electricity for the length of the railroad. The council also said that the customs procedures and shipping documents for cargo transported on the Barents Link needed to be simplified. It was noted at the session that the project would require capital investments from the members of the council. The participants plan to discuss possible mechanisms of attracting investments at the meeting in Petrozavodsk and at the subsequent sessions The council members said the creation of a transportation corridor would make it possible to intensify cooperation between countries on the Barents Sea. Cooperation is difficult now because there is not a direct railroad link between the European and Russian parts of the Barents region. The council will also discuss industrial partnership in the timber sector and mining and metallurgical industries and the possibilities of strengthening the role of the public sector in the industrial development of the Barents region. The region comprises Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Geographically, it also includes the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions, the Republic of Karelia, the Nenets Autonomous Area, and a number of provinces in northern Europe. The council's activity is oriented toward the development of international cooperation in the Barents region in the spheres of the economy, tourism, environmental protection, transportation, communication, energy saving technologies and agriculture.
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