A statement from the European Commission dated March 4, made the EC position on further collaboration with Russia and Belarus clear:
“Following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and in line with the Commission’s decision to fully implement all EU restrictive measures, the Commission has suspended the cooperation with Russia and its ally Belarus in the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programmes (ENI CBC) as well as in the Interreg Baltic Sea region programme.”
On March 4, the Project manager received a letter from the Managing Authority of Kolarctic CBC Program. The letter informed all partners and projects that:
“The European Commission has suspended the Financing Agreement between the European Commission and the Russian Federation concerning the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programs (ENI CBC).
This means, among other things, that no further payments of program funds to Russia can be made. This concerns payments from the Managing Authorities and money transfers from the Lead Partners in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Suspension of Financing Agreement does not prevent projects from communicating within the partner consortium or with the Managing Authority.”
The information consequently implies a stop in all further major activities and stops all investments and payments until the European commission has discussed the practical consequences of the suspension with all programs involving Russia and Belarus. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22, and after that, MA will inform us about the schedules and eligibility of costs as well as about practicalities concerning the next steps with the implementation of projects and payments. MA underscores that “The European Commission is searching for solutions to properly conclude planned activities in EU member states and Norway.”