Russia's speaker asks parliament to look at scrapping Norway sea treaty

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday asked a top lawmaker to consider scrapping a treaty defining the country's maritime border with NATO member Norway.
The treaty, signed in 2010, aimed to end disputes between Russia and Norway in the Barents Sea, the part of the Arctic Ocean bordering the northern coasts of Norway and Russia.
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Responding to comments in parliament accusing Norway of blocking food supplies for Russian-populated settlements in the Svalbard archipelago, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin asked the chairman of the chamber's international affairs committee to consider "terminating" the treaty .
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"Let's ask Leonid Eduardovich Slutsky to deal with this matter and then inform the deputies," he said.
Spitsbergen, located between Norway's north coast and the North Pole, is part of Norway, but Russia has the right to exploit its natural resources under a 1920 treaty, and some of its settlements are mostly inhabited by Russians.
Norway denies that it is blocking access to Svalbard, arguing that it is only applying international sanctions in response to Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine and that Russia has other ways of supplying the settlements.
(Reported by Reuters; Edited by Kevin Liffey and Gareth Jones)
Vyacheslav Volodin
Chairman of the State Duma

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