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Putin to hold talks with Nordic countries’ leaders during Arctic Forum, says Kremlin

The Russian President will hold talks with Finnish head Sauli Niinisto, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on the sidelines of the Arctic Forum on April 9 and will meet with President of Iceland Gudni Johannesson on April 10, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

"What is important from the viewpoint of the international agenda and international contacts is that our president will hold separate talks with the leaders of the Nordic countries who will take part in the forum," he noted.

Ushakov added that a joint dinner for all leaders was scheduled for April 9. He said he expected the discussion during the forum to cover both Arctic-related topics and pressing global issues.

Referring to the meeting between the Russian leader and his Finnish counterpart, the Kremlin aide noted that Niinisto was to attend the Arctic Forum for the third time. Russian-Finnish ties are "friendly and multifaceted, traditionally distinguished by an intense political dialogue at all levels." The same is true of bilateral trade and economic ties. Russia ranks third among Finland’ trading partners. The two presidents are expected to raise some pressing global and regional issues, including in light of Finland’s current Arctic Council chairmanship.

On the other hand, Putin’s meeting with the Norwegian prime minister will be held for the first time, just like contacts with the Swedish prime minister. "Russia is committed to constructive cooperation with Norway on practical aspects of Russia’s presence on Spitsbergen," Ushakov pointed out. "Besides, dialogue on Arctic-related issues is being intensified, both within the Arctic Council and on a bilateral basis."

Putin met with Iceland’s president Johannesson during the previous Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk in 2017. Bilateral cooperation in the high-tech field has a considerable potential. Intense dialogue has been conducted between the Skolkovo Foundation and Iceland’s innovation centers. The parties are exploring the possibility of building geothermal power plants in the Kamchatka Territory and the Kuril Islands. Also, a number of fish processing projects involving Icelandic companies are being implemented in Russia.