Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 469

  Commentary REGIONAL INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE ARCTIC & SUBARCTIC ZONE: A VIEW FROM KARELIA Igor Shevchuk The Republic of Karelia is a cross-border region of the Russian Federation, which has an approximately 800 kilometer long border with a European Union country – Finland. A crossborder location has had a great impact on the development of international cooperation in the Republic of Karelia since the Soviet period, where in the mid-1960s, twin-city relations appeared. Later, in the 1980s and 1990s, twin-city relations transformed into active contacts among authorities, governmental and non-governmental organizations. The first interregional agreement was signed in 1989 with Vermont State in the USA. Interstate economic cooperation with neighboring Finland was already reflected in the 1980s in such projects as the construction of the Kostomuksha Mining and