Murmansk teams up with Harbin
Northern Russia attracts growing interest from China. Yamal LNG, offshore oil-exploration and Arctic shipping are key topics when Beijing looks towards its northern neighbor. This week, a delegation from China’s largest city in the north, Harbin, visits Murmansk.
A sister-city agreement is expected to be signed on Friday.
Tourism, education, medics are three focus areas the two cities lists for cooperation, the official portal of Murmansk informs. Harbin in China’s northeastern corner is well-known for its ice sculpture festival and extensive winter tourism.
With a population of more then 10 million and located close the border to Siberia, Harbin serves as an important gateway in Sino-Russian trade. The eastern track of the Trans-Siberian railway goes through Harbin.
Last autumn, a delegation from Murmansk visited Harbin and a protocol of intent for sister-city deal was signed.
From before, Murmansk has ten sister cities; Rovaniemi, Luleå, Tromsø, Vadsø, Jacksonville, Groningen, Szczecin, Akureyri, Alanya and Minsk.
In August, China announced it would build its own nuclear powered icebreaker aimed for Arctic research and shipping. Today’s only fleet of civilian nuclear powered icebreakers are all having Murmansk as homeport.