Arctic environmental risks addressed

Nordic-Russian ministers discuss issues surrounding oil transport, nuclear waste treatment

Nordic and Russian environment ministers met in Kirkenes, Norway and Murmansk, Russia, this week to discuss environmental risks in the Barents Sea region. The fifth ministerial meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council focused on problems linked to oil transportation and nuclear waste treatment.

The ministers visited a nickel smelter at Petshenga near Murmansk, where improvements largely funded by Norway and the Nordic Investment Bank aimed at reducing emissions of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals by 90% are beginning. Finnish environment minister Satu Hassi welcomed the improvements, describing the present smelter as one of the most terrible places she had ever seen.

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