Promoting Norwegian-Russian relations in the north

Barentssekretariatets stab, mars 2017. (Photo: Michael Miller)

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat's main goal is to make it as easy as possible to initiate Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects. Contact us if you need any help in developing your project or to learn more about the cross-border relations in the north. 

Every year the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants 30 million NOK (3,5 million EUR) to the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. We use this grant to support Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects. The tasks of the Secretariat could be divided in two. To fund bilateral Norwegian-Russian projects, and to act as a centre of competence on Norwegian-Russian relations in the north.

People-to-people
The foundation of the Barents Cooperation has always been the people-to-people contact. A cooperation between people from all areas of society within for instance schools, municipalities, organizations, cultural institutions, businesses. Virtually everyone who is part of the communities in Northern-Norway and Northwest-Russia, and who would like to engage on a cooperation with their neighbouring country.

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat has a goal that all good cooperation projects should have the opportunity be realized. Our task is to make it as easy as possible for you as the applicant to engage in a cooperation project. If you have an idea for a cooperation project, and you are wondering how to move on, you should contact one of our advisers so that we can help you get started with the project. It could be regarding criterion set for applications, how to get a partner, or a general introduction to the cultural and political differences between our nations.

All applicants must learn our guidelines and conditions set for Barents projects. A crucial factor to any project is the level of cooperation between the Norwegian and Russian partner. It is not enough to have a partner from your neighbouring country. You also need to show how you are cooperating with your partner.

Barents information
The goal of the Barents cooperation has always been to remove cultural barriers and to build bridges across borders. An important task for the Secretariat is to visualize the regional activity and increase the international support for the cooperation.

The cooperation was established as a peace project in 1993, after 45 years of cold war. The fact that the relations between Russia and the other Barents countries has remained stable and good in the north, regardless of political challenges in the rest of Europe, has been a proof to the success of the visions from 1993.

Another important work for the Norwegian Barents Secretariat is to promote which opportunities there are for Barents people who engage in the Barents cooperation. Both to promote good project results, but also to put regional challenges on the public agenda. The Secretariats initiative “Talking Barents” is established to create an arena for debates on important topics in the Barents region

The staff of the Secretaruiat are consultants for people or organizations who are developing new project initiatives i the Barents region, and if you need any help please contact us. 


The main tasks of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat can be summarized as:

Project financing

  • On behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs we fund bilateral Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects.
    • Every year the secretariat contributes to the financing of between 200 and 300 border-crossing projects, within a wide range of topics. 
    • The main object of the project support is to strengthen the people-to-people cooperation between Norway and Russia in the north. 

Resource centre

  • The Secretariat acts as a resource centre on developing Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects. 
  • We do information work within the Barents Region on the Barents cooperation and the project funding through presentations, our website barents.no and as consultants for people or organizations who are developing new project initiatives. 
    • The main goal of the information work is to visualize the regional activity and increase the international support for the cooperation.
  • Work as a resource centre for the councils, committees and working groups of the Barents Cooperation together with the International Barents Secretariat