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MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. The artificial restrictions that have been applied to certain fields of cooperation between Russia and Norway for reasons of Euro-Atlantic solidarity and with references to the Ukrainian crisis are detrimental to the interests of both countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview to the Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.
Lavrov recalled that Russia and Norway shared quite a few bilateral projects in the North.
“Some of them are at different stages of practical implementation,” he said.
“Our proximity in the North, both countries’ colossal natural resources and similar socio-economic tasks imply tight cooperation,” Lavrov said. “This concerns such crucial fields as the effective and ecologically safe development of oil and gas deposits, the development of transport and logistics infrastructures, including those related with the growing economic activity in the extreme North, the preservation and stable management of joint fishery resources, nature conservation, radiation security and the development of our countries’ northern regions.”
“Fruitful solution of current issues along these lines requires our closer cooperation,” Lavrov said. “The awareness of that need should determine the main vector of our mutual efforts.”
“Everything that impairs this is detrimental to the interests of Russia and Norway,” Lavrov believes. “First and foremost this applies to the artificial restrictions that have been applied to certain areas of bilateral interaction for reasons of Euro-Atlantic solidarity and with references to the Ukrainian crisis.”
“We regard Russian-Norwegian relations as relations of partnership, built on the logic of mutual respect and due regard for each other’s interests,” Lavrov said. “However, one cannot but take note of the growing effects of external factors on our cooperation.”
“We proceed from the understanding that it is in our common interests to clear the road of our cooperation of unfavourable time-serving factors,” Lavrov said. “We are certain that this will be done in the near future.
Norway treats with great respect and gratitude the feat of the Soviet soldiers liberators in the World War II and it can be seen in the tender care of burial sites of the Soviet soldiers, Lavrov said.
Foreign Minister Lavrov on Thursday arrived in the Norwegian city of Kirkenes to attend celebrations dedicated to the liberation of Finnmark, a Norwegian district occupied by Nazi forces during the WWII.
“I would like to underscore the importance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of eastern Finnmark for the Russian-Norwegian relations,” Lavrov said in an interview with Norwegian daily Verdens Gang. “This anniversary gave us a brilliant opportunity to see the manifestation of extremely warm and sincere feelings of our peoples.”
“The scale of events dedicated to this anniversary is very impressive as well as the level of involvement of ordinary Norwegians in the organization and management of the celebrations,” the Russian minister said. “It is probably the prove of the great respect and gratitude for the feat of liberator-soldiers, which can be also seen in tender care of burial sites with Soviet soldiers and in other directions to preserve the historic memory.”
“All this is a valuable element of the heritage of our countries, the foundation, on which relations between Russia and Norway are built for today and for the perspective,” Lavrov added.