KIRKENES (Norway), October 25. /TASS/. Moscow understands that Norway joined anti-Russian sanctions under pressure from outside, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday after talks with Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende.
“Our relations with Norway face certain tensions at the moment, as Norway joined unilateral restrictive measures against Russia,” Lavrov said. “Joined them, as we understand, for the reasons lying outside Norway,” he added.
“Nevertheless, we confirmed today our mutual interest in developing relations in the sphere of economy, cooperate on environmental protection, on nuclear and radiation safety, as well as on issues of trans-border ties,” the foreign minister said.
“We also confirmed usefulness of all formats set up in the North - the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Council of the Baltic Sea States,” Lavrov said.
He also said they had exchanged opinions on key international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and in North Africa, as well as discussed a need for consistent fight against terrorism.
Everything must be done to prevent Nazis from making a comeback in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister said on Saturday.
“On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the north of Norway from Nazi invaders, we could not but mention the problem of revival of neo-Nazi traditions in Europe, including in Ukraine,” the foreign minister said.
“We felt the mood of our Norwegian friends against allowing any radical, and all the more neo-Nazi tendencies in Europe,” he said. “We are confident, Russia is confident that it is necessary to do all to avoid the emergence of new banderas, shukhevichs and quislings,” he said referring to Ukrainian and Norwegian collaborationists of WWII times Stepan Bandera, Roman Shushkevich and Vidkun Quisling.
Efforts are highly sought after for commemorating those who liberated Europe and the whole world from Nazism and for counteracting attempts to re-write the history for political reasons, Lavrov said.
“The anniversary of liberation of eastern Finnmark (a Norwegian district occupied by Nazi forces during the WWII) is a significant event in our bilateral relations alongside a wider context of the 70th anniversary of the WWII victory,” Lavrov said at the opening ceremony of Rorbua historical monument.
A Norwegian flag was hoisted on this building 70 years ago as a symbol of a start of liberation of Norway from Nazi invaders.
“Armed conflicts are not woven into the many-centuries-long history of Russian-Norwegian ties,” he said.
“Brotherhood in arms against Hitler’s Germany, including the operation to liberate northern Norway, has made a considerable contribution to friendship among our countries,” he said.
“The battle for its liberation will always remain in the memories of our people as an example of valour, courage and unbending will,” Lavrov said adding that a renowned traveller, Thor Heyerdahl, was in Norwegian troops then.
“Today we have witnessed again that Norway venerates the memory of Soviet servicemen who lost their lives fighting for the liberation of northern Norway and those who died in Nazi concentration camps,” he said. “We offer our sincere gratitude to the Norwegian Falstad Memorial and Human Rights Centre for their outstanding contribution to investigating the Soviet POWs’ fates.”
“Time is driving us far from that time,” the minister said. “So now efforts are highly sought after for commemorating those who liberated Europe and the whole world from Nazism and for counteracting the attempts to re-write the history for political reasons and to preserve the truth about war-time events.