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Print version. Published on site Rusnet.NL 26 April 2004

Encyclopedia :: B :: Barents Sea

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Barents Sea, arm of the Arctic Ocean, north of Norway and European Russia, partially enclosed by Franz Josef Land on the north, Novaya Zemlya on the east, and Svalbard on the west.

The Barents Sea waters are warmed by the remnants of the North Atlantic Drift, so that its ports, including Murmansk and Vardo, are ice-free all year.

The sea was named for Willem Barents, the Dutch navigator.

The Barents Council was founded in 1993 by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden to foster co-operation between countries in the region. The council has focused its efforts on improving infrastructure and cleaning up nuclear waste on Russia's Kola Peninsula.

Russia's major submarine accident happened in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, when the Kursk nuclear-powered submarine sank while on manoeuvres. All 118 men on board were killed, and the tragedy shed light on the troubles of the Russian navy in the post-Soviet era.

On August 30, 2003, the story nearly repeated as another nuclear-powered submarine K-159 sank in the Barents Sea as it was being towed to a scrapyard, killing 9 of the 10 sailors on board.