Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Deal opens Arctic up to exploration

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.