Kremlin signs off on border agreement with Norway

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed off on the ratification of a treaty delineating the country's maritime border with Norway in the Barents Sea, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Medvedev and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg signed the treaty last September, ending a 40-year dispute over a 176,000-square-kilometre (67,950-square-mile) maritime area straddling the two countries' economic zones in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

The deal regulates energy resources in the region, requiring the two countries to jointly develop oil and gas deposits that cross over the borderline.

Both houses of Russian parliament ratified the treaty last month, and the Norwegian parliament ratified the agreement in February.

The Arctic seabed is believed to hold 90 billion barrels, or 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of the gas resources yet to be found, according to the US Geological Survey.

© 2011 AFP

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