New East-West security. Northern perspectives
Norsk Barentssekretariatet
14.00 – 17.00

he year of 2008 put a strain in the relationship between East and West in Europe. The level of distrust surged and security issues to a new extent came to dominate relations. As we enter 2009, uncertainties about future economic ties, security relations and political cooperation are abundant.
Coupled with rapidly changing international financial realities, relations between the European East and West could today be facing a period of new security challenges, as well as opportunities.
The situation in the High North has not stayed unaffected by the general trends in East-West relations. Still, some see this strategically important region as an area of continued prosperous relations, stability and constructive cooperation.
In the Barents Region, there is still “business as usual” between East and West. As a matter of fact, the borders between Norway, Finland and Russia might be among the least affected by the chilly winds of 2008. That is amid the growing international focus on regional energy potentials, climate change and Arctic shelf delineation.

Some of the questions to be asked in the conference are: What are the new realities in the relationship between Russia and the West? How important is the High North in East-West security relations? What are the possible contributions of the region in big-power relations?
We welcome you to join a discussion of prominent experts. Your voice and your positions will meet an audience of highly qualified East-West enthusiasts.
The mini-conference and subsequent Transborder Cafe take place within the frames of the Barents Spektakel festival, a unique cross-border contemporary arts and culture festival.
The Norwegian town of Kirkenes is located on the coast of the Barents Sea just few kilometres from the border to Russia. It is Norway’s gate to Russia and a window to activities within the Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation.

Mini-conference program:

14:00 Cool hotspot? New times for East-West security in the HighNorth
Danila Bochkarev, EastWest Institute Brussels

14:25 Norway and the Nordic countries – building security in the High North
Paal Sigurd Hilde, Norwegian Institute for Security Studies

14:50 The Barents Region – border dialogue and security challenge
Rune Rafaelsen, General Secretary, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat

15:15 The energy challenge. The Barents Sea and European energy security
Oddgeir Danielsen, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat

16:20 East-West region-building. The example of the Ukraine and the Trans-Carpathian Region
Sergey Ustich, Institute of Cross-border Cooperation

Arr: Norwegian Barents Secretariat.