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Putin in Sweden: visa rules to be eased

TT/The Local/rm · 27 Apr 2011, 14:22

Published: 27 Apr 2011 11:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Apr 2011 14:22 GMT+02:00

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Putin arrived in Stockholm on Tuesday evening and following an early audience with King Carl XVI Gustaf, he met with Reinfeldt and Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt on Wednesday morning.

According to a Russian government statement prior to the visit, the Russian PM was in Stockholm to discuss cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic and within high-tech.

Both leaders emphasised the importance of economic cooperation between the two countries in a press conference after the meeting.

"We have significant possibilities for cooperation within forestry," Putin said, adding that he expects both Scania and Volvo to expand its operations in Russia.

Putin went on to speak about an expanded cooperation within energy technology and to announced that visas for Swedes visiting Russia would be eased.

"We have reached a decision that our partners shall be able to visit Russia visa free," he said.

The visa waver will apply to travellers on ferry routes to St.Petersburg on visits of up to 72 hours. The regulations will however not be apply to Russian citizens looking to visit Sweden.

Fredrik Reinfeldt pointed out that Sweden has no possibility to agree visa waivers with countries outside of the Schengen area.

Putin and Reinfeldt are reported to have discussed topics including the cooperation around the Arctic and Barents Sea and plans by Russian leaders to modernize Russian society.

It has also been reported in the Swedish media that the issue of human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom of speech and the press will also be topics for discussion.

Putin has brought with him a industrial delegation, headed by oil-and-mineral billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Story continues below…

Vekselberg manages the building and investment project Skolkovo on the outskirts of Moscow where Russia is creating its own ‘Silicon Valley’.

The Russian government has earmarked around $6.5 billion to finance the project.

While Putin is in Sweden, Swedish electronics giant Ericsson is expected to sign a deal on a new research centre outside Moscow, with Fredrik Reinfeldt present at the signing of the contracts.

The visit is Vladimir Putin’s first since 2001 when he visited Sweden in 2001 as Russian president and is a response to Fredrik Reinfeldt's visit to Moscow last spring.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:01 April 27, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Oh, yea, Swedes love Russia!
14:37 April 27, 2011 by Syftfel
Economic cooperation yes, but whatever you do Reinfeldt, do NOT ease the visa requirements on the soviets(yes. all of them) wanting to temporarily visit Sweden. Russian organized crime, and marxist infiltration, is bad enough as it is, even WITH visa requirements. If anything we should tighten the border inspections.
14:45 April 27, 2011 by Rick Methven

Soviets Marxists you still living in the cold war ere?

Putin is oe of the biggest Capitalist going
15:13 April 27, 2011 by jimmy1988
Russia is part of BRIC= Brasil, Russia, India, China these four countries have biggest economic growth in this planet.

The Swedish Vikings colonize Russia, so we could say that we are seeing our fellow brothers.
15:20 April 27, 2011 by Stickeroo
If you want to have a good laugh, go to the Russian embassy website and check out their visa application form for (get this) Canada, USA, UK, and Georgia?? Good to see they group us Canadians in with their mortal Georgian enemies. "Please state all countries visited in the last TEN years", "Do you have any training in Nuclear technology, explosives, firearms, etc."

They need to give their heads a shake, it's not 1976, we're not trying to go over there to steal their secrets anymore. And whoopteedoo, a 72 hour visa waiver to go on a ferry to St.Petersburg? That's gonna have some MAJOR economic impact! Not!
15:26 April 27, 2011 by Zeffanyx
I wish they coul colonize it again :)
15:56 April 27, 2011 by Syftfel
@methven: I'm not living in the cold war. But Putin - a man that I in many ways admire - seems to try to do just that.
16:18 April 27, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Just play old Puty some Abba tunes, he loves them.
23:38 April 27, 2011 by 15U
I think Sweden and Russia has a lot of common, and the cooperation should be expanded.
01:53 April 28, 2011 by pupunussi
@Stickeroo: Have you ever tried getting a visa to your own country? I bet not. I went to Canada as a Russian citizen. I did have to apply for a visa before hand. I did have to answer a shitload of ridiculous questions like that in the application form and even more on the border while entering the country. I think it's only fair you have to go through a procedure like that as well.
13:20 April 29, 2011 by jamesblish
The russians are not our brothers, in fact if you look at the history we are arch enemies. And these two gentlemen most likely had a ton of things to say to each other but they couldn't, or didn't want to. Personally, I would like my country to be on peaceful terms with Russia, but not get too involved. They are historically unreliable.
19:21 April 29, 2011 by Strongbow
Visas are just invented to humiliate travelers and provide government personnel with bribes. It isn't likely that a swede would illegally emigrate to Russia on a tourist trip.
23:17 April 30, 2011 by Incognito007
Putin should be tried by international court for acts of terror in 1999 when residential buildings were bombed in Russia by FSB (former KGB) and on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Chechnya, where russsian barbarian army slaughtered over quarter of civilian population and still terrorizing people systematically committing crimes against humanity by abductions, tortures and extrajudicial executions anyone they suspect of having relations to local freedom fighters.

Putin shouldn't be welcomed by civilized countries respecting basic human rights. Russian is the deadliest threat to security of civilized European countries: Economical - it controls gas supply to Europe and military - the government is taken by group of criminals passing presidency to each other so no one can be brought to justice.

Russia invaded Georgia and shed blood of civilians to block any efforts of supply of cheap gas from Turkmenistan to Europe as income from gas and oil make up more than 80% of their budget.

Russia is the world leader for murders of human rights activists, free reporters and lawyers exposing its acts of genocide and crimes against humanity in Chechnya...
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