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Russia interested in boosting dialogue in Baltic Council, says Foreign Ministry

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin stressed that the Council is a "good, unique and relevant forum", which Russia strives to save and boost cooperation with other regional structures

JURMALA /Latvia/, June 3. /TASS/. Moscow sees the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) as a relevant forum and stands for increasing its profile and cooperation with other regional organizations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told TASS on Monday before the beginning of the Council’s ministerial meeting.

He pointed out that the CBSS is a "good, unique and relevant forum", which Russia wholeheartedly strives to save and boost its specialization and cooperation with other regional structures - the Northern Dimension and international cooperation formats in the Arctic.

At the same time, the senior official underlined that at the meeting in Jurmala Russia is counting on "invested, pragmatic dialogue, which includes the elements of political dialogue, but steers clear of various unpleasant topics and irritants that are undeniably present." At the same time, he believes that the situation unfolding around the Nord Stream 2 project is unlikely to be discussed. "There are Germany and Denmark here that are on the other sides of the negotiating table with different stances," he continued. "Although, any issue can be raised here."

"What’s more important is the practical cooperation, which comes down to project cooperation in the framework of financing for the event special fund and determining the horizons of cooperation, because the ten-year strategy [for cooperation] expires soon, and a new one should replace it," Pankin stressed.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States was established in 1992 and is comprised of Russia, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The European Commission also takes part in its work, a number of states enjoy observer status. In the course of the current ministerial session, Latvia will pass the presidency in the CBSS to Denmark.