Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, will ratify a maritime border demarcation treaty with Norway within a month, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
Last year Russia and Norway signed a deal to delimitate their maritime border in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean after 40 years of negotiations.
Both countries have been disputing the 175,000 square km area since 1970. The absence of defined maritime border often resulted in detentions of fishing vessels in the region.
The agreement has also paved the way for the lifting of a 30-year-long moratorium on oil and gas extraction in the previously disputed zone.
“We were discussing the vital issue for our states [maritime border demarcation pact]…Norway has ratified the pact. Russia has just started the ratification. We are planning to settle it within a month,” Lavrov told a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Store in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
Russia, however, is still in a dispute with Canada over the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean, with both countries trying to persuade a UN commission that it is an extension of its own continental shelf. The sides have agreed that scientific evidence should resolve the dispute.
“We consider the EU ban on seal products sales to be in violation of WTO rules”
SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS
PETER O’NEIL, Postmedia News -Original article here
Norway joined Canada March 15 in asking the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute-settlement panel to consider a challenge to the European Union’s seal products ban.
“We consider the EU ban on seal products sales to be in violation of WTO rules and want an independent assessment of a dispute settlement panel in the WTO,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, according to a translation of the government news release.
The release said WTO-arranged consultations between Norway and the EU have failed.
Canada announced last month that it was asking for a dispute-settlement panel to challenge the ban, which came into force last summer.
The process normally takes a year to reach a conclusion, according to the news release.
Norwegian Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen echoed past statements by Canadian politicians, saying it is defending a principle that Norwegians have a right to take part in a sustainable harvest and then sell the products.
The European Parliament, dismissing Canada’s argument that the hunt is humane, voted by a margin of 550 to 49 to impose its seal ban in May 2009.
Since then, several rounds of trade consultations through the trade organization have failed to resolve the dispute.