Heads of government of member countries of the Council of the Barents Sea/Euroarctic region at their meeting on Saturday confirmed their adherence to the Kyoto protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the information confirmed to journalists by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, Russia's position in this connection was of special importance. Persson stressed that "without Russia's participation the Kyoto Protocol would hardly have survived." The head of the Swedish government reported that at the Council's meeting they had considered the whole spectrum of matters of cooperation between countries of the region. In particular, the parties noted the necessity to intensify the struggle against organized criminality, smuggling, illegal migration. They pointed out to the necessity to have more close cooperation between services reacting to emergency situations. Probably in 2004-2005 these services of the Council member countries will hold joint exercises in Norway.
Heads of government also voiced the necessity to enhance the role of the organization in Europe in general. According to Persson, three member countries of the Barents Sea Council and of the European Union will promote in the European Union the understanding of the fact that the Barents sea region is one of the richest regions in the world and was particularly in need of investments. The Swedish Prime Minister stated that "it was necessary to put some pressure on the European Union for it to realise its obligations to facilitate priority development of the region."