Deal opens Arctic up to exploration

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The Independent Online

Russia and Norway ended a 40-year dispute yesterday when they signed an Arctic border treaty which opens the door to a joint exploration of offshore oil and gas reserves.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian President, and Jens Stoltenberg, the premier of Norway, presided over the signing in Murmansk, a Barents Sea port near the Norwegian border. The disputed territory covered 175,000 sq km – about half the size of Germany. Any oil and gas fields straddling the border would have to be developed jointly.