Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the BSR INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme.


 Summary description STBR II
STBR II builds directly on the results of the first STBR phase (2003-2005). First STBR explored comprehensively the Barents transport problem. STBR II takes the next steps in the process of creating a joint transport strategy for the Barents Region. With external funding, Tacis, STBR II can also now extend into NW Russia and integrate it efficiently in the Barents transport development process.


The objective of the STBR process is to create jointly a strategy for transport sector by addressing all the modes of transport (road, rail, air and sea) and bringing them into an intermodal transport system encompassing the entire Barents Region.

STBR II implements pilot projects and small-scale investments. Most importantly, proposals will be made for concrete measures, which in due time can be included in national investment programs. The Barents transport strategy will ensure that the authorities of all the countries see the Barents Region as a common transport area, which must be developed jointly.

The STBR area comprises the northern counties of Sweden (Norrbotten and Västerbotten), Finland (Lapland, Kainuu and Oulu Region), Norway (Finnmark, Troms and Nordland) as well as the Northwest Russia (Murmansk, Karelia and Archangelsk).

The work carried out in the first STBR phase gave a good understanding of the state, problems and development needs of the regional transport. The prime conclusion was that the process needs to continue with planning and implementing of more concrete measures. STBR II is composed of the following four Work Packages containing selected projects for each transport mode

  • WP1 Regional Aviation
  • WP2 Barents Seaport Forum
  • WP3 System of Heavy Transport, railways
  • WP4 Road Transport
Overall and specific objectives and aims
The overall objectives of the STBR II process are:


  • Improving general accessibility within the Region
  • Improving connectivity across the borders so that travel times and costs are reduced
  • Strengthening transport cooperation, particularly between the Nordic Countries and Russia
  • Ensuring sustainable transport

The specific objectives of STBR Phase II are more clear and concrete:

1. Regional aviation – WP1

  • Setting up a practical case for opening a cross-border air route in the Barents Region,
  • Launching a supporting program of marketing measures

2. Maritime transport – WP2;
    Establishing a Forum among the ports in the Barents Region which can:

  • Address common problems and emerging issues (winter operations, EU regulations, safety and security issues, sustainable transport and the environment, and training)
  • Develop jointly a concept for Barents seaport collaboration
  • Adopt joint measures to promote port services. All these measures will help in adopting the concept of “Sea Motorways”

 3. Railway transport – WP3

  • Establishing the N.E.W. Railway Corridor/Barents Link in the Barents Region by improving cross-border railway transport in particular
  • Launching a pilot project for determining an operating model for timber transport between Russia and the Nordic Countries

4. Road transport – WP4

  • Setting up a road transport data and information sharing system over the Internet
  • A pilot project for establishing the Barents Road Corridors
  • Launching the second phase of subproject heavy vehicle safety in winter.
Expected outcome
  • Regional flight services will be ensured. This will be achieved with marketing measures that support the growth of passenger flows over time, and by creation of a collaborative framework that can assist in the elimination of institutional and legal obstacles between the countries.
  • The work of the Barents Seaport Forum will be supported so that common problems (winter operations) and emerging issues (EU regulations, security, safety at sea, and the environment) can be discussed and forces joined to achieve a more efficient multimodal transport system. A joint promotional plan for the Barents seaports will be produced. These measures will support the adoption of the sea motorway concept in participating ports both in the Barents Sea and the Baltic Sea areas.
  • The concept of the N.E.W. Railway Corridor/Barents Link will be made operational. The heavy transport system, composed of railways, seaports, border crossings and freight terminals, will be developed further by using the framework of collaboration among stakeholders, by preparing an upgrading plan, by addressing constraints caused by differing railway technologies between the countries, and by bringing the rail corridor issue and concrete improvement proposals into the transport dialogue between the EU and the Russian Government, as well as to the information of regional and local decision makers.
  • A common understanding of the Barents road corridors and their development standards are reached, and heavy goods vehicle safety in winter will eventually be improved by introducing a set of harmonised measures in all the countries aimed at reducing the risks particularly in winter. In addition, availability of better road transport data and information is secured throughout the Region. 
  • Based on the above four mode-specific sets of actions, the Barents transport strategy, comprising all the modes of transport, will be formulated in the STBR Steering Committee meetings, in the political process on fora for BEATA, BEAC, Northern Dimension and in the broader transport dialogue between the EU and Russia.