Stories

Northern Finland in the wind, boosts power generation
The two regions of Lapland and Northern Ostrobotnia has the quickest growing wind power industry in the whole northern Scandinavia.
08/20/2015
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer
Figures assembled by Patchwork Barents show that the regions of Lapland and Northern Ostrobotinia in 2014 produced respectively 368 GWh and 340 GWh, a year-on-year growth of 22 percent and 47 percent respectively. That is the quickest growth in wind power generation in the whole northern Scandinavia and Barents Region, BarentsObserver reports.The two regions now together account for the by far biggest production in the Barents Region. Only neighboring Västerbotten, the Swedish region, has higher production. In 2014, Västerbotten produced 443 GWh, a decline of almost 20 percent from the previous year.In northern Norway, the regions of...
Regional economies in trouble
Perspectives for growth in Northwest Russian regional economies appear increasingly bleak.
08/17/2015
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development believes economic recovery is in the pipeline and that 2016 will see a two percent growth. However, experts are sceptical with the outlooks presented by government. Figures from the Russian Statistics Service show that the country’s economy in the first half of 2015 contracted with 4,6 percent. The Russian GDP will have negative growth not only in 2015, but possibly also in 2016 and stagnation will prevail for several more years, BarentsObserver reports. As illustrated by figures from Patchwork Barents, industrial production in most parts of Barents Russia is experienced a downturn. In 2014, only...
Marriage in the Barents Region
08/17/2015
By Elizaveta Vassilieva, Barents Secretariat
As summer approaches its end in the Barents Region, the wedding season takes over to keep the temperature up. These are the facts you didn’t know about marriage in the Barents Region.Statistics show that people in the Barents Region tend to get married more often than people in the European Union, BarentsObserver reports. According to Eurostat, the average marriage rate in the European Union was 4.2 per 1000 inhabitants in 2011. The equivalent figure for the Barents Region that year was 6.5 marriages per 1000 inhabitants, shows data from Patchwork Barents.What are the regional trends and characteristics of family formation in the four...
Karelian Tourism Committee shuts down despite record number of visitors
07/30/2015
By Gleb Yarovoy, Petrozavodsk State University
Karelian State Committee for Tourism was dissolved upon the decision of the Head of the Republic, Alexander Khudilaynen. As a separate agency, it ran for two years: in June 2013, the Committee was established upon the order of Khudilaynen. From this point onward, the functions of the Committee will pass over to the Ministry of Culture.Officially, two reasons for the shutting down of the Committee have been voiced. The first reason is a need to bring the structure of the Government of Karelia into accordance with the structure of the Federal Government (in Moscow, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for tourism development). The second...
Another blow to cross-border traveling
The introduction of biometric visas could lead to a major drop in traveling between Russia and neighboring countries.
07/29/2015
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer
From 14th September, Russians will have to personally show up at a Schengen consular station to give finger prints and photo in order to obtain visas. Russia is following suit and will soon introduce similar requirements for Schengen citizens.That could prove to be another major stubling stone for cooperation between Russia and the neighboring countries, BarentsObserver reports. “The new rules will definitely result in a drop in traveling”, Andrey Shalyov, Norwegian Honorary Consul in Arkhangelsk says to the newspaper. “This could be dramatic because it coincides with the current difficult situation in Russia, the weaker ruble and the...
In the Barents Region population, men are catching up with women
07/29/2015
By Arina Ulyanova, Murmansk State Humanities University
In 2014, the share of men in the population increased in most parts of the Barents Region. The exception was the Finnish provinces, where the proportion of men and women remained the same as in 2013. Finnmark County in Norway has the highest proportion of men in the population, 51.41 percent. Between 2013 and 2014, the male population in the Barents Region actually decreased from 2.49 to 2.48 million. However, compared to the total population, the percentage of men went up from 48.06 percent to 48.48 percent. In Barents Sweden, Finland and Norway, the male population outnumbered the female population by 0.8, 0.3 and 0.2 percent, respectively...
Russia tightens regulations on alcohol
07/28/2015
By Elizaveta Vassilieva, Barents Secretariat
 Russia has imposed stricter limitations on alcohol consumption. From June 2015, manufacturers and retailers of products containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol must get a license from the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation (FSAMR), NEWSRU reports.The new regulations, which went into force on June 1, are part of Russia’s measures to fight alcoholism in the population. As previously reported by the BarentsObserver, the federal government plans to reduce consumption by fifty percent by 2020.Several measures have already been taken towards this goal: alcohol sales have been restricted with shorter sale hours in stores, and alcohol...
Northern tourist operators want to hold on a little longer
07/09/2015
By Birgitte Wisur Olsen, Kirkenes, freelancer/Sør-Varanger Avis
Statistics published by Patchwork Barents clearly indicate what regional Russian and Norwegian tourist operators are after: to expand the number of nights each visitor spends in their region. In 2014, tourist operators in Finnish Lapland registered approximately five times as many visitor nights as Murmansk Oblast in Russia or Finnmark in Norway.In Lapland, the total number of nights spent by foreign and domestic visitors in 2014 was 2.4 million. In the neighboring regions Murmansk Oblast and Finnmark county, the figures were only 549,102 and 394,498, respectively.From Barents to HollywoodMurmansk coastal village Teriberka made it all the...
Speak Russian at home, Norwegian at school
When raising their children in Northern Norway, Russian immigrants choose to keep both cultures
07/09/2015
By Birgitte Wisur Olsen, Kirkenes, freelancer/Sør-Varanger Avis
«I felt an urgent need to understand - perhaps for the first time - how well these children who have moved to Norway from Russia in the post-Soviet period, live here, primarily in the northern part of Norway. The children were involuntarily facing important processes like integration, adaptation, culture shock and mental discomfort», says Victoria V. Tevlina, associate professor at the Barents Institute (The Arctic University of Norway) and professor at the Northern Federal University. She recently launched her book «From Russia to Norway and to its North - Real and Potential migration: Children, adults, families».In her book, Tevlina...
Number of HIV cases increased dramatically in the Republic of Komi
07/07/2015
By Arina Ulyanova, Murmansk State Humanities University
In 2014, there were 38.6 HIV infected for every 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Komi. As a comparison, the previous year their number totaled 23.8. This is the second leap since 2011, when number of new cases in the region increased twice - from 12.3 to 23.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.It is worth noting that Komi is the only region in Barents Russia where the HIV infection rate continues to grow. In Murmansk Oblast, on the other hand, the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants has decreased from 47.4 (2013) to 46.8 in 2014, despite the fact that the oblast has the highest HIV rate in both Northern Russia and the Barents Region...

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