Norwegian parliamentarians cancel visit to Moscow
Five members of the Committee were supposed to fly to Moscow for meetings on Thursday and Friday this week.
Aftenposten now reports that the high-profile parliamentary delegation’s visit is canceled. Reason is said to be visa-trouble. Two of the members, Bård Vegar Solhjell (Socialist Left Party) and Trine Skei Grande (Social Liberal Party) have not received visa to Russia.
A short press-release from Stortinget Wednesday afternoon confirms the visa-trouble: «A delegation from Stortinget’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence planned to visit Moscow on February 2-3 for political talks. This visit is postponed because some members have not got visa to Russia.»
Last year, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Council visited Oslo, and the Norwegians were supposed to make a return visit. That would have been the first high-ranking political visit to Moscow since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In April last year, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Ms. Anniken Huitfeldt, however, made a low-profile visit to Nikel, the Russian border town to Norway in the high north. She visited the town together with the Mayor of Kirkenes, Rune Rafaelsen.
Meeting Barents Observer at the border checkpoint, Huitfeldt called for continued political contacts with Russia.
«The concrete collaboration with Russia, the people-to-people cooperation and the political contacts, must continue», Anniken Huitfeldt says as she today pays a visit to the Norwegian border crossing point of Storskog. «After what happened in Ukraine, the importance of the Barents Cooperation is even more important than before», Anniken Huitfeldt argued.