Margot Wallström is Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Wallström to talk Barents in Moscow

Swedish Foreign Minister with first visit to Moscow in three years.
February 10, 2017

«The Barents Euro-Arctic Council will be on the agenda,» confirms Pezhman Fivrin, Margot Wallström’s Press Secretary.

Wallström travels to Moscow on February 21st.

In Meetings with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, the Swedish Foreign Minister will discuss the hand over of the chairmanship of the Barents Council from Russia to Sweden for the coming two years.

For Sweden, the Barents Council is an «important organization.»

«We attach great importance to regional and sub-regional cooperation, which to a large extent is focused on practical issues and people-to-people contacts,» Fivrin says to the Barents Observer.

On Friday, the Swedish Foreign Minister gives a speech about Sweden’s Foreign Policy, including relations with Russia, in Luleå, northern Sweden. It is the two northernmost counties of Sweden, Västerbotten and Norrbotten who participate in the regional Barents cooperation’s formal structures.

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For Margot Wallström, balancing Sweden’s mutual cooperation with Russia in the north with hard talks regarding Moscow’s annexation of Crimea is important.

Standing firm on international law does not contradict support to cross-border contacts.

«To promote such contacts is in our interest, and is not contrary to our interest in safeguarding and defending international law and the European security order, if necessary with sanctions,» says Fivrin.

On October 18-19, Margot Wallstöm will travel to Arkhangelsk to take over as chairman of the Barents Council from Sergey Lavrov. 

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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