OSLO, September 12 /ITAR-TASS/. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to develop positive relations with Russia, Russian State Duma Vice-Speaker Ivan Melnikov told Itar-Tass on Friday.
Melnikov, a member of the Communist Party of Russia, represented Russia at the European Conference of Parliamentary Speakers in Oslo. He had an informal meeting with the Norwegian prime minister on Thursday night.
“Solberg made it clear that Norway wants to build positive relations with Russia. It seems that she definitely meant that the policy of sanctions was not constructive irrespective of who initiates it,” Melnikov said.
According to Melnikov, Norway is a small country, which is built into political organizations that sometimes force it to dance to their tune against its will.
Norway is not an EU member and the Norwegian government has not yet announced its readiness to join a new round of EU sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities. Norway, however, consistently joined all the previous restrictive measures, which the European Union imposed against Russia.
During her recent visit to Tromso, a city in northern Norway, which was worst hit by Russian bans on imports of Norwegian fish and sea foods, Solberg said that growing tensions in the West-Russia relations had a negative impact on Norway’s economic interests. But the Norwegian government feels obliged to support the line of its allies and partners, she added.
“We would like to maintain constructive and predictable relations with Russia. But it is necessary that Russia should want the same,” Solberg said in her public speech in Tromso. For that reason, she said, Norway would maintain cooperation with Russia in spheres like joint management of fish resources.