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Russia snubs Sweden summit plans

AFP/The Local · 1 Jul 2009, 17:44

Published: 01 Jul 2009 17:44 GMT+02:00

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev does not want the EU-Russia summit to take place in the Swedish capital "and insists that it takes place in Brussels," which Moscow considers more neutral, a Swedish government official told AFP.

The twice-yearly summits normally alternate between Russia and whatever country is holding the EU presidency. The last such summit was held in May in Khabarovsk, in Russia's far east. No date has been set for the next one.

Relations between Stockholm and Moscow are strained as Sweden vocally denounces human rights violations in Russia.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was also harshly critical of Russia's military intervention in Georgia last August in the name of protecting the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia, even making a parallel with

Adolf Hitler.

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Neither did Moscow appreciate a Swedish-Polish initiative last year for an EU "Eastern Partnership" which would allow Europe to boost its ties with six former Soviet-bloc states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The Russians are also waiting for Sweden to approve the North Stream gas-pipe project which would bring Russian natural gas as far as Germany via the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is insisting on environmental guarantees.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:38 July 1, 2009 by Nemesis
This would be funny, if the potential consequences were not so serious.

This affects all of Europe, so please Sweden please your zenophobia and blinkered nationalism at home, where it belongs.

Also as you now have the presidency, get into the Euro and stop being a passenger.
19:45 July 1, 2009 by Grippen
Nemesis - until I've read your last sentece, I was sure that you've made just one mistake in your comment: wrote "Sweden" i stället av "Russia". Unfortunately nationalism has disappeared long ago from swedish political scene. And same goes with xenofobia - its abundant in Russia, not in Sweden.
19:52 July 1, 2009 by Soft Boiled
Ha Nemesis you are joking of course? Sweden is hardly a passenger.. where as other countries have plainly joined the Band-wagon -

Dead fish go with the flow ;)
20:37 July 1, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Kursk coverup? Ha. Did you miss the unbiased reports of a onboard torpedo explosion during a live fire exercise and the recovered hulk? Let alone the Northern Fleet sat in disrepair for a decade?

Putin has nothing on America, and America has nothing on Putin. The clock reads 1982 in the current relationship between the two.
21:07 July 1, 2009 by Kooritze
I am totally with Russia on this...........Little Sweden has been openly condeming Russia on all kinds of issues. In western politics/media the view is projected that western type of mentality, values and standards should come to be in Russia.....how naive and unrealistic. Russia is a vast territory which has to and always has been ruled with a degree of dictatorial power........it is a product of it,s history. It,s vast ethnic mix of people coupled with poverty, corruption, crime and economic stress poses difficult choices to the rulers......and often the system is brutal.

Lets not live in cloud cookoo land here......the west is also brutal in it,s exploitation of other countries, resources and people eg Iraq. Sweden has to just grow up and see realities.........condemn Russia at your peril!
21:22 July 1, 2009 by hilt_m
I'm with sweden on this one, it's not sweden who is kicking up a stink over this, it's russia who up untill now have been happy to go to the EU presidency country every 2nd year but n ow it's sweden oh no they can't do that lol sweden says bad things about us...please.
21:34 July 1, 2009 by Mack
Does anyone else think that Bildt is an arrogant idiot? Sweden should try to have good relations with Russia and instead they seem to want the opposite.
21:49 July 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
Trowbridge H. Ford, that is laughable that you believed that $10 Billion would stop Russia from exploiting the media frenzy that would have occurred if the US was any way involved with the sinking of their sub. They have such a large amount of foreign reserves that they would have laughed in the US' face if that was offered to them. Putin has shown on multiple occasions that he is willing to use the US as a scapegoat for Russian problems when even the pro Kremlin Russian media states the US is not involved. Putin would love for the US to do something that would make people sympathetic to Russia and hate the US.

Face it, sometimes planes crash, people get sick, little kids scrape their knees, and it is not America's fault.
22:10 July 1, 2009 by Greg in Canada
Mr. Ford, just where are you getting your information from? Putin seems to be a bit of a throw back to the Cold War from what I've seen.
23:13 July 1, 2009 by shpongle
Russia acting like a snot, who can be surprised.
23:38 July 1, 2009 by Hauhr
Russia is a scary country. Neither Sweden nor anyone else should associate its self with a state that sponsors incidents of the following natures:


00:45 July 2, 2009 by Uncle
Russia maintains relationships with every "freedom fighter" that exploded a bus with children. Russia provides missiles to VERY strange regimes, like Iran, Lybia, Syria etc. Russian cover up of the "torture camps" on its own territory, the claim that 60 years of East Europe occupation were blessing for the Europeans and pressure on the ex-republics are hardly making it a reliable partner. In regards to the war in Georgia - how about the inflated number of dead: "Oh, not 10 thousand, but 200?", how about the fact that russian forces entered Osetia 2 months before the war and armored divisions 2 days before the war? Mr D Ford не дури людей, осточертело...
00:47 July 2, 2009 by Uncle
aha, this site does not show russian... but it is easily assumed what I had to say...
01:45 July 2, 2009 by jack sprat
Putin is without doubt a nasty piece of work and little more than a modern day version of Stalin.

With regard to the Kursk, I wonder if anyone has seen the most recent Discovery documentary on the incident?

There is quite a lot of evidence to back up the claim of US involvement and the likelyhood that it resulted from practice war-games gone sadly wrong.
01:58 July 2, 2009 by askin
Any mini-submarines?

Askin Ozcan

Author of The Mini-Submarine

ISBN 978-1-4363-9414-7 (Xlibris)
02:23 July 2, 2009 by Brainman
I am Russian and I do not support many things done by Putin and Medvedev. But, at the same time, Western countres are to blame because of its stupid tendacy to spread democracy. It is impossible to do in Russia. We have got many many conservative people who do not wish to have such freedom as here in Sweden.

And all this crying from EU-countries side about dictator regime using torchers agains poor people in Russia, like chechen people, are totally stupid!! I think that first of all u should go to Russia and see some places like Russian south and after u can say if it is fine to be a tough regime.

The same about Georgia. Eu-countries should stop supporting Saakashvili and finally open eyes and blame him for his crimes. At the same time it should be wise to praise Russian efforts to stop massacre in Georgia.
08:14 July 2, 2009 by hpunlimited
I do not understand Medvedev at all and what his problem is. First of all it is kinda childish not to want to hold a meeting in Sweden, it is on the mental level of a 5 year old girl that takes her ball and leaves. Sweden is not the country slaughtering its neighbor country of Georgia. If Sweden ever invaded Finland to "protect" the Swedish citizens, i would wholeheartedly agree with Russia if they wanted to critizese the Swedes.

Both Russia and USA are countries that thinks that they are big and powerful and thinks they can just run over smaller countries just because they are russians or americans, like it is their birthright to kill and maime people at will.
10:07 July 2, 2009 by Kooritze
It is not suprising that this thread has a Russia bashing slant..........Brainmar I agree with you on your points. It is easy in such comfortable western countries to rant off about how bad Russia is without a real understanding of it. Russia is by no means stupiid, and knows the game well. The west loved it when the USSR colapsed and Russia on it,s knees........posibility for it,s exploitation. Putin paid off all world bank debts from this period and now Russia is rising........and the west does not like it.

Does Sweden really think that Russia gives a damn about its petty little comments? The west has to learn to respect and deal with Russia whether they like it or not. Russia has the trump card which in the very near future will become a huge issue.......Energy resources........and the west needs it.
11:40 July 2, 2009 by BlackfDes
One recent policy initiative by Putin that I applauded vigorously was his closing of all the casinos. He did offer an alternative if they insisted on staying open - their relocation to Siberia and other such far flung places.

However, the Ruskies should be made to address any environmental concerns regarding the gas pipeline. If you owned a house and a gas pipeline ran beside, wouldn´t you want the gas pipeline to be as safe and reliable as possible? If you disagree with this then you are truly DUMB!

To many conspiracies and trolls to bother writing any more!
11:51 July 2, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
You are all fully aware that these energy resources are not renewable, eh?
14:52 July 2, 2009 by Hong Kong Phooey
Please excuse me for generalising.

I think Sweden is xenophobic, nationalistic and to a certain degree racist, but I would say in a passive way as a form of self preservation.

I is far worse in other EU countries such as Germany where I would say it is blatant and rude, and in the UK where it makes Brits look plain ignorant.

It could be all excused as being patriotic, but either way, if we are all to get along, we need put aside our roots and beliefs and be democratic when in such a responsible position as President of the EU.
14:57 July 2, 2009 by mkvgtired
Trowbridge H. Ford, why were you trying to turn this thread into an American bashing forum? Aren't there enough other articles in European newspapers you can "contribute" to that are already about how America is the Great Satan? In fact the EU's buddies, i.e. Syria, Iran, Lebonon, etc. etc. should have some forums on the subject. Clearly they have no human rights abuses to speak of so once Europe is completely following their model you should be happy.
16:12 July 2, 2009 by Streja
If Russia doesn't give a damn about Sweden's petty little comments then why won't Russia meet in Stockholm?
16:41 July 2, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy

*spiteful child's imaturity*
18:57 July 2, 2009 by I Love it when ...
russia needs to stop being a bitch

and sweden needs to stop a pain in the ass 2

russia isn't even a part of europe ..... okay euro-asia whatever

if the two can't decide here to hold the shindig

drag the UN in and let them decide where to hold it.
19:24 July 2, 2009 by jack sprat
Maybe Russia has been taking TOO much notice of Sweden and its Social Democratic ways.

Possibly they will now have to arrange a meeting to decide where to have a meeting,....

Before they can do that, they will obviously have to have a meeting to decide where the meeting to decide where they will have a meeting will take place,.....

But before they do that they will ......
20:38 July 2, 2009 by Mack
What he said... plus... Putin is very popular in Russia. The Yeltsin years were very chaotic, crime filled and bad for the average Russian person. Mostly what I hear against Putin was that he was in the KGB. So what. Before anyone makes a comment about Russian they should really get to understand their history and culture. It is a big complicated place. Добрыи вечер!
23:40 July 2, 2009 by hemrylow
"If Sweden ever invaded Finland to "protect" the Swedish citizens, i would wholeheartedly agree with Russia if they wanted to critizese the Swedes..."

if Finland would intend to eliminate the swedes who live in Åbo so what would Sweden do? so easy to seat at home "framför datorn" and be sooooo sarcastic
13:00 July 3, 2009 by ameribrit
Trowbridge H. Ford. I just read your


You are in need of a serious dose of sanity my man!

To believe that the US had the ability to initiate the earthquake that caused the '04 Indian ocean tsunami,and that it was done to wipe out Muslims so they would not join the fundamentalists.

Please! for your sake, go get some help.
13:40 July 3, 2009 by jack sprat
....and thats one of his more feasible theories!.....
14:54 July 3, 2009 by Dazzler
LOL, a person has to wonder how many blows to the frontal lobe it takes to manifest such grand delusions.
18:05 July 3, 2009 by serenatous
@ hemrylow

Its easier for you to say framför datorn what is Sweden gona do, quite the contrary Sweden is the most influential country in Scandinavia and the strongest and biggest in military force also the major factors to that is the size difference as in country, economical wise it will be Norway cuz of the oil.

So if Finland did intend to eliminate the swedes who live in Åbo, sadly they would be raped by Sweden if a war was to occur and happily if your one of them i hope your the first to go, and that is when i say thank you god one less idiot in this world wasting my oxygen!

Majorly stated @ hemrylow
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