Sweden’s policy toward Russia is not aimed at isolating the country, and Stockholm is willing to enhance dialogue with Moscow despite disagreements in certain fields, Swedish Ambassador to Russia Peter Ericson said in an interview with Sputnik.
“We don’t want to isolate Russia. On the contrary, we want to improve our contacts, even though they are based on these principal disagreements,” Ericson said.
The ambassador added that Stockholm intended to maintain a dialogue with Moscow as its neighbor.
“We remain neighbors, there is a set of issues — bilateral, regional, global — which we most certainly want to discuss and, perhaps, even solve together with Russia. It is important to be able to do this as well,” the diplomat said.
Ericson also stressed that Sweden was not among the EU states with a strong anti-Russian stance.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom will visit the city of Arkhangelsk in northwestern Russia in mid-October, where Russia will hand over to Sweden chairmanship in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), the ambassador added.
“At the regional level, Russia currently chairs the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. A ministerial meeting will be held in Arkhangelsk in mid-October, and Russia will hand over the chairmanship to Sweden. Our Minister Margot Wallstrom will be there,” Ericson said, adding that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would also attend the meeting.