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Sweden, Finland joining NATO can lead to negative changes in Baltic Sea Region - ForMin

May 31, 2014, 23:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Moscow seeks “to join multilateral efforts aimed at making the development of the Baltic Sea Region stable and dynamical"

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MOSCOW, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. The accession to NATO by Sweden and Finland will lead to dangerous negative changes in the Baltic Sea Region, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

The ministry commented on Saturday’s conference, involving the Russian ambassadors to Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. The conference was chaired by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov.

The high-ranking diplomats discussed prospects for relations between Russia and the Baltic Sea Region countries. They noted “the need to build a constructive dialogue and business cooperation by taking into account the mutual interests without any artificial restrictions and the threat of sanctions”, the ministry says.

Moscow seeks “to join multilateral efforts aimed at making the development of the Baltic Sea Region stable and dynamical, including within fruitful interaction in the existing formats - the Council of Baltic Sea States, the Barents Euro-Arctic Region Council, the Arctic Council and the Northern Dimension”, the ministry says.

The intensification of NATO’s infrastructure in the countries adjacent to Russia and discussions on the accession of Sweden and Finland to the Alliance “can lead to negative changes in the Baltic Sea Region”, it says.

The diplomats discussed the tasks for protecting the rights and interests of compatriots, primarily in Baltic States, preserving the Russian language and countering the falsification of history and the glorification of Nazism.

The participants in the meeting met with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja for talks on regional and international cooperation.

“Much attention was paid to the situation in Ukraine: de-escalation, ceasing violence and launching an inclusive dialogue on the constitutional reform in order to overcome the deep crisis,” the ministry says.

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