Sad and estimated like unfair story if we look at the results of the Kolarctic 2014 -2021 projects evaluation results after 4 calls. Especially for SME and actors focused at international, cross-border business cooperation between Russian part of Kolarctic Cross-Border Cooperation Program – Arkhangelsk, Murmansk region and Nenets autonomous area with Northern Norway business partners.
“Our claim to Kolarctic Joint Monitoring Authority in Rovaniemi, re-confirming Norminol Holding AS many years’ experience and competence in field of oil & gas industry, marine logistics, business development and asking to re-evaluate results of our “Barents region logistic line” project application was refused.” – Odd Ivar Nøis Olsen, Norminol Holding AS managing director noted. “We have successfully implemented several projects supported by Innovation Norway Troms foundation and Kolarctic Norway in the applied project area just before 1st Kolarctic 2014-2021 call. In situation when Finnish and Swedish partners refused from participation in our project not fitting its scope & theme, we expected reasonable decision to support our application by regional assessment groups and joint monitoring authority”.
Norwegian businessman comment in addition to information at official Kolarctic CBC 2014-2021 website https://kolarctic.info/, showing that mainly state budget funded originations leaded projects have been supported in framework of financial arctic cross-border cooperation Kolarctic program, make us more confident that Kolarctic program experts do not focus on direct SME cross-border interaction facilitation. Current situation in “Barents region logistic line” project background is that there is a growing interest from Northern Norway gas & oil, bunkering, investment companies, terminals in developing cross-border logistics with Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. This project is aimed to improve industrial research works between Norway and Russia via new logistic knowledge base creation.
“Having 19 years international projects participation and administration experience, background in field of science, culture, tourism, transport, SME and environmental protection with partners from USA, Europe, South Asia, I found Kolarctic program decision regarding “Barents Logistic Line” application weird.” – Yan Turov, NGO “Economic Programs Foundation” founder and director, project partner from Russian side says. “As entrepreneurial and aimed to develop international business activity organization in the Arctic being based in Arkhangelsk region and Nenets autonomous area, we find SME direct assistance actual and efficient. Business people have all necessary practical knowledge that is needed to build bridge meaning long-term relationships and sustainable entrepreneurial environment.”
Mr. Turov being member of Russian and Arkhangelsk Chamber of Commerce, expert on Arctic zone of the Russian Federation development (https://arctic2035.ru/experts/?PAGEN_1=3) has informed “Artic Partnerships” that one of the priorities of transport development in the Russian Arctic is the development of maritime logistics and multimodal transport. It is considered by active smaller capacity tankers and new fuels usage, consequently reducing fuel and CO2 emissions, an environmentally friendly maritime and intermodal transport environment creation. It was included in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation Development and National Security Strategy 2035 as a result of “Economic Programs Foundation” participation in profile working group in Arkhangelsk in October, 2020. Protection of national interests in regional assessment groups by Russian experts is a big question looking at “Barents Region Logistic Line” application case. Finland promotes its Arctic interest in each situation – there is no Kolarctic project without its presence. Program administration is for years remaining in Finnish Lapland. Not allowing Norway enter Arctic shipbuilding sector by Finland is one more example of active protectionism. We evaluate Kolarctic 2021-2024 results as a smartly constructed and having various administrative leverages Finland state policy of “penetrating” into the heart of the international geopolitical game around Arctic exploration and the persistence with which they promote their technology and know-how. Let’s hope that new Kolarctic 2021 – 2027 program will change existing state domination trend to SME and NGOs, consider bilateral relationships and applicants competence deeply.
From Russian and Norwegian sources of “Arctic Partnerships”.