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Lavrov praises Moscow-Helsinki dialogue

February 12, 12:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian top diplomat says relations between Russia and Finland are developing well despite sanctions

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini

© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and Finland are developing well despite hurdles in dialogue with the European Union over sanctions obsession of some member-states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini on Tuesday.

"Our relations have been developing well despite the well-known difficulties in relations between Russia and the European Union over the sanctions obsession of some EU member-states," Lavrov said. "Nevertheless, we see that at all levels there is mutual interest to foster ties between the presidents, the heads of governments, parliaments, regions and representatives of the public."

According to Lavrov, Russia and Finland are cooperating on many issues on the international arena, especially in the northern region where a whole number of international organizations have been successfully operating. Finland currently chairs the Arctic Council, the leading intergovernmental forum bringing together eight member-states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), he added.

"We have many issues for discussion, and I hope that fruitful dialogue will be held, like this has always been," Lavrov said.

Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini said that there is a good dialogue between Helsinki and Moscow, but there are also issues on which the two countries’ positions vary.

"We highly value that we may share opinions in the constructive atmosphere, even on the most complicated issues. We have a very good dialogue, and we have cooperation, but there are still issues on which our opinions differ," Soini said.

The Finnish minister did not specify the spheres in which Helsinki and Moscow have different positions.

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