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Russia, Norway Sign Border Deal For Arctic Energy

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) with Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Murmansk on September 15.
Russia and Norway have signed an Arctic border treaty that will pave the way for offshore oil and gas exploration after a 40-year dispute.

President Dmitry Medvedev and Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg presided over the signing in Murmansk, a Barents Sea port city near the Norwegian border north of the Arctic Circle.

Medvedev, speaking at a news conference with Stoltenberg after the signing, said the agreement would contribute to better relations between the two countries.

"The purpose of this treaty is to demarcate, to mark the boundaries of interests," Medvedev said. "If there is no such agreement, there is cause for mutual suspicion and reproaches."

The disputed territory covered 175,000 square kilometers, an area about half the size of Germany, mainly in the Barents Sea between proven petroleum reserves on the Russian and Norwegian sides.

compiled from Reuters reports