The guidelines for co-operation with North-West Russia from were approved by the ministers for Nordic co-operation and by the Nordic Council in 2013.
In principle, co-operation with North-West Russia is encouraged in any area of common Nordic/Russian interest. However, the focus should be on the following priority areas, in which progress is in the interests of the Nordic countries:
- Promoting democracy, respect for human rights and civil society by working together on democratic local government and good governance, inter-parliamentary collaboration, co-operation between media and journalists and NGO partnerships.
- Cross-border issues that impact on the Nordic countries and North-West Russia, e.g. organised crime, human trafficking, contagious diseases and environmental issues.
The instruments used for the Nordic Council of Ministers' work with Russia include the knowledge building and networking programme, the Northern Dimension Partnership, the NGO programme, cross-border regional bodies, the Nordic institutions and other regional stakeholders such as the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Arctic Council.