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RF, Sweden to sign deal on Swedish arms transit to Afghanistan

October 10, 2011, 19:38 UTC+3

Russia and Sweden will sign an agreement on Stockholm’s military transit to Afghanistan via Russia’s territory

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MOSCOW, October 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and Sweden will sign an agreement on Stockholm’s military transit to Afghanistan via Russia’s territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday, October 10.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit on Tuesday, October 11, to take part in the 13th ministerial meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

“On October 11, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold talks with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt in Kiruna,” the diplomat said.

They will discuss “the state of Russian-Swedish relations and ways of further strengthening of cooperation, exchange views on key regional and global issues, and determine prospects for interaction in international affairs,” Lukashevich noted.

“The parties will sign an inter-governmental agreement on transit of arms, military hardware, Sweden’s arms and personnel transit to Afghanistan via Russia’s territory,” he stressed.

According to Lukashevich, energy, “green economy”, telecommunications, information space and nanotechnology, forestry, medicine and education are priority fields of cooperation between the two countries. He pointed out that Russia and Sweden succeeded in overcoming the economic crisis and reached high rates in trade turnover. “In 2010 trade turnover increased by 22.9 percent and reached 6.44 billion U.S. dollars as compared with the previous year. In the first seven months of 2011 it increased by 30 percent and amounted to 4.7 billion U.S. dollars. In the first half of the year Swedish investments into the Russian economy reached about 450 million U.S. dollars,” he said.

“Over 400 Swedish companies are registered on the Russian market. Among them are IKEA, ABB, SKF, SCA, Sandvik, Volvo, Scania, Tetra Pak, Alfa-Laval, AstraZeneka,” the spokesman added.

“Swedish companies have good prospects for taking part in the work of the Skolkovo innovation centre. A decision has been taken to set up a Russian-Swedish business council,” Lukashevich said. “This structure, which is due to strengthen partnership between the two countries, is led by Vnesheconombank chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg,” the diplomat pointed out.

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