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Norway to raise nuclear waste worries with Russia

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will make a four-day visit to Russia later this week, and Norwegian concerns about Russia's nuclear waste storage facilities and routines are on the agenda, reports reaching here said on Monday.

Since the Russians will not give a copy of their waste storage map to the Norwegians who helped finance it, Norway felt obliged to buy satellite photos of the Andreeva Bay off the Kola Peninsula, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said he will also bring up the nuclear concerns when he meets his Russian counterpart a few days later. Norway's relations with Russia have turned tense in recent months, with conflicts arising over everything from Norwegian salmon exports and fishing rights in the Barents to offshore oil projects, concerns over human rights and press freedom, according to NRK.

A Norwegian defense department official was even prevented from entering Russia a few months ago, and new worries flared last week over allegedly unsafe storage of nuclear waste just 50 kilometers from the Norwegian border. Norway had given Russia 6 million Norwegian kronor (about $1 million) to map the waste storage area in the Andreeva Bay, which Russia accepted, only to later refuse to share the map with Norway, NRK reported. (english.people.com.cn)