The Barents Region

Your can see Barents region from satellite here.

The Barents Euro-Arctic Region was formed in 1993 by the member states and representatives from the European Union and the United States. The Region includes Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Oblasts of Russia, the Republic of Karelia, and the Arctic parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden. More information on the Barents Region and the work and organization of the Barents Council can be found here.



Challenges and opportunities in the Barents Region  Based on material published in BARENTSwatch 1995 and in 'The Kola Guide', Lars Gyllenhaal, Sept. 1993)


  • Large pristine areas of nature in all parts of the Region
  • Rich multicultural ancient and modern culture
  • Major oil and gas deposits in the Barents Sea - similar in size to the Middle East
  • Europe's largest conifer forests
  • Significant fishing industry; from the Norwegian and Barents sea
  • Some of Russia's most advanced industries and skilled workforce found in the region
  • Major deposits of minerals; copper, nickel, iron, apatite


  • Murmansk and Arkhangelsk oblasts has the worlds largest concentration of nuclear weapons, reactors and nuclear waste - a potential threat to the environment and the stability of the region
  • The natural resources being exploited in the region are often used in a wasteful way due to an underdeveloped industry causing major environmental problems in certain areas, in particular Monchegorsk and Nickel.
  • Major investments in infrastructure, plants and processing equipment, and training are needed to build a sustainable economy


  • Build a sustainable economy based on the natural resources found in the region
  • Build tourism based on current 'eco-tourism' trends
  • Open the North-East passage as the shortest transportation route between Central Europe, and South-East Asia and Western USA and Canada


  • Political and military tensions re-develop in the region, causing instability and higher perceived risks on investments

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Last Update: 99-06-11