4 February 202018:26

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Foreign Minister of Sweden Ann Linde, Moscow, February 4, 2020

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Madam Minister,

I am pleased to welcome you and your delegation to Moscow. Thank you for accepting our invitation. I hope we will have the same open dialogue as with your predecessor, Margot Wallstrom.

It is no secret that our relations are not at their best. We still have differences on an entire range of issues, but dialogue must continue. We are ready to cooperate to the same degree as you are.

Last year Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Lofven visited St Petersburg to take part in an Arctic event and met with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. This gave a boost to resuming our contacts. In your previous role, you also visited the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), and I hope you had useful meetings there, too. Contacts between various Russian and Swedish agency heads were also being established or resuming. This is also beneficial.

We appreciated that Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Lofven sent his greetings to the new Prime Minister of Russia, Mikhail Mishustin. In his message, he stressed Sweden’s determination to develop cooperation in areas of mutual interest. We share this approach.

There are many plans for various areas of bilateral relations. I hope that today we will discuss them in detail, as well as international and regional issues, above all, security in Europe and in the Baltic region.

Welcome. I am sure this will be interesting.

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