Barents Sea, arm of the Arctic Ocean, N of Norway and European Russia, partially enclosed by Franz Josef Land on the north, Novaya Zemlya on the east, and Svalbard on the west. Its waters are warmed by the remnants of the North Atlantic Drift, so that its ports, including Murmansk and Vardö, are ice-free all year. The sea was named for Willem Barentz, the Dutch navigator. The Barents Council was founded in 1993 by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden to foster cooperation between countries in the region. The council has focused its efforts on improving infrastructure and cleaning up nuclear waste on Russia's Kola Peninsula.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.