Sweden’s foreign minister blames Russia for cold shoulder

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Sweden's Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, of the Social Democrats, speaking at an earlier press conference. (Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden)
Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, of the Social Democrats, speaking at an earlier press conference. (Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden)
After Russia’s ambassador in Stockholm called the attitude of the Swedish government “chilly”, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström fired back that the cold shoulder is thanks to Russia’s actions.

In an interview with Dagens Nyheter, Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev said he regretted the deterioration of relations between Sweden and Russia and talked of a cool reception with contacts at the Swedish government.

Wallström told the newspaper that she doesn’t deny the complaint but she sees it as a consequence of how Russia is acting in the conflict in Ukraine.

“We have normal diplomatic contacts with Russia, but one cannot say other than that our relations are quite chilly at the moment, and that’s dependant on how Russia is acting,” she said.

The EU has introduced sanctions against Russia, which are expected to run throughout the year. And for those sanctions to be lifted, Wallström said, Russia must change its behavior in the Ukraine conflict.

Related stories from around the North:

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  Finland considers new combat aircraft, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russia responds to Arctic NATO drill, Barents Observer

Sweden: NATO question lingers for Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Arctic rep: Russia’s Arctic buildup not necessarily martial, Alaska Public Radio Network

 

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