What does the future hold for the Barents Region?

Head of the program committee, Guro Brandshaug.

The Kirkenes Conference 2023 on March 1st and March 2nd will look into what the future holds for the High North and the Barents Region, as connections to the east are broken for a long time ahead. Check out the program and register for the conference.

February 24th 2022 was day two of the Kirkenes Conference. In the early morning Russia startet the invasion of Ukraine. A war against its neighbouring people. Among the conference participants was the Russian ambassador to Norway and several Russian officials. The conference was expected to be the start of a new growth for Norwegian – Russian relations after two years of pandemic. However, as war broke out in Ukraine most people understood that this would change the neighbouring relations i the Barents Region for a long time ahead.

«With the start of the war we had to ask ourselves if this also would be the end of a conference focusing on international cooperation in the Barents region. We concluded that it is more important than ever to organize this conference, and address how we should handle the new political situation in the region», says Guro Brandshaug who is head of the program committee of the Kirkenes Conference.

Key topic
Security policy is a key topic for this region, but it will be of equal importance to talk about the connections between people living in this region. How we can develop the northern areas and create a fundament for new investments and economic growth in a new political situation.

Day one of the conference will focus on security policy and how the geo politics have been affected by the war in Ukraine.

«It will also be important to talk about which possibilities there are for peace, and which prospects we see for the future relations between the Barents countries», says Brandshaug.

Day two
«Has High North policy been reduced to a matter of defence policy. This is one of the questions we highlight on day two of the Kirkenes Conference».

Politicians, researchers, business people and other strong voices are invited to the conference to give their view on their believes in the High North policy. What is required to enable a competitive business development in the region.