Sweden sets sights on easing Russian relations

Sweden sets sights on easing Russian relations
Medvedev and Reinfeldt shake hands in Stockholm, November 2009
A diplomatic thaw between Sweden and Russia appears to be imminent. On Tuesday Fredrik Reinfeldt and Carl Bildt will head to Moscow to meet prime minister Vladimir Putin and president Dmitrij Medvedev.

Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt intends to use the meeting to discuss continued climate negotiations and EU cooperation with Medvedev, and the Baltic Sea cooperation and environmental issues with Putin, according to the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Swedish-Russian relations have been in the doldrums since Sweden strongly criticised Russia in connection with the Georgian war in 2008. Reinfeldt has underlined the importance of existing peace agreements but feels that now is the time to work for an improvement in relations with the EU’s oil and gas-rich neighbour.

The visit is Reinfeldt’s first during his tenure as prime minister.

Bildt and Reinfeldt plan to spend some of their one-day visit in discussions with Swedish business people in Moscow as well as Russian human rights groups.

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