The leaders of Russia and Norway say they have reached a preliminary agreement on how to share a long-disputed area in the Barents Sea.
Visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the two countries had agreed "to close the question" of border demarcation and are preparing final documents for signing.
"I hope that soon our teams -- which I would also like to thank, both the Norwegian and the Russian teams -- will continue talks in order to technically work out all the agreements that have been reached, put them on paper, and prepare the way for the final signing of the agreement," he said.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at a joint press conference after talks with Medvedev, said a border-delimitation deal is expected to be signed "as soon as possible."
For decades Norway and Russia have failed to agree on a maritime border in the Barents Sea, which is believed to contain vast oil and gas resources.
Stoltenberg today said the preliminary agreement envisages splitting the disputed zone nearly in half.
compiled from agencies reports