The Barents Spektakel 2011 festival was formally opened by the Queen on Wednesday evening in the Kirkenes town square. In her speech Queen Sonja spoke of future opportunities for closer cooperation between Norway and Russia:

“The year 2010 was an historic year for Norway and for the border region here in the north. The treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean opens up opportunities for broader, more effective collaboration between Norway and Russia on the future development of the region,” the Queen said.