Russia to invest 12 million euros in Kolarctic CBC program
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Baranov

Russia to invest 12 million euros in Kolarctic CBC program

The funding of the Kolarctic Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) 2014-2020 Program has been approved, Ilya Subbotin, head of the Foreign Ministry's section on regional cooperation, told Interfax.

"The program is based on co-financing, with the European Commission allocating substantial funds and the member countries (Russia, Norway, Finland and Sweden) donating equal amounts. Allocations for the next CBC program will total about 50 million euros, of which Russia will provide EUR 12 million," Subbotin said before a meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee of Kolarctic ENPI CBC in Murmansk.

Regarding the importance of Kolarctic for border regions, the Russian diplomat pointed out that the program allows cooperation to continue despite the current tensions in international relations and sanctions against Russia. He believes that this neighborhood practice should be applied to interstate relations in general.

Kolarctic ENPI CBC is underway in the regions that are located on the external EU borders. Allocations in 2007-2013 were provided under 51 grant contracts.

According to the program's official website, the area covered by the Kolarctic CBC Program comprises Nordland, Troms and Finnmark in Norway, Norrbotten in Sweden, Lapland in Finland, and the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions and the Nenets Autonomous Area in Russia.

Subbotin pointed out that Russia's co-financing allocations under the Kolarctic program are guaranteed. "The money has been earmarked in the federal budget, and so there should be no problem with financing," the diplomat said.

"Overall, cross-border cooperation is extremely important for Russia at this point as a form of depoliticized interaction with European countries that is not subject to the EU sanctions," Subbotin said.