Barents Rescue - security cooperation in the Barents region

The aim of the Barents Rescue co-operation is to improve the possibilities for the rescue services agencies to co-operate on emergency and rescue issues across county and national/federal borders in the Barents Region. Such increased co-operation would make optimal use of the widely dispersed scarce resources and provide assistance faster and more directly. Specialist functions would be made available to neighbours in need. In addition to the main working with issues of joint training, exercises, and legal/ administrative frameworks.

Focus is on day-to-day basic emergency situations, such as traffic accidents, forest fires, tourism related accidents, fires in open cabins, floods and ice plugs, and industrial and chemical accidents.

President Mikhail Gorbachev’s speech

On 1 October 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev (the last President of the Soviet Union) gave his historic speech in Murmansk. Gorbachev suggested six possible topics for multilateral cooperation, which also effected areas in what today is known as the Barents Region.

In his speech, Gorbachev introduced a distinction between military and civil security. The content of the new approach was to provide security through international cooperation, not through military confrontation. This speech laid the foundation for international cooperation in which Russia would take part. It is interesting to note that two Russian words used in his speech, "perestroika" (restructuring) and "glasnost" (openness), entered the languages of the West.


  • GeoPolitics in the High North - aim of the research programme is to develop new knowledge about actors and their interests in the High North. The programme is led by the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies.