Statement from Barents Press International

28th of April 2017

Barents Press International deeply regrets that governments in the Barents region prevent journalists to freely travel and report from any country in the region.

The latest example is the editor of The Independent Barents Observer, Thomas Nilsen. This spring he was declared persona non grata in Russia for five years. In 2014, the Russian editor Dmitry Kiselyov from Moscow were put on a visa denial list and refused entry to EU and Norway.

Barents Press International is a success story in the Barents cooperation, which has been active for more than 20 years. We are proud of our network of journalists from the Barents regions in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, who have been working together, learning from each other and establishing trust between reporters for more than two decades.

Including journalists and editors to sanction lists by any countries and ban on travelling damages not only access to independent information. It also increases risks of speculations and distribution of false information and biased reporting.

This unfortunate development damages the prevalence of media independence in the Barents region.

The board of Barents Press International,

Anna Kireeva, Murmansk
Tim Andersson, Umeå
Amund Trellevik, Kirkenes
Timo Sipola, Oulu