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Norway Hopes to Remain Good Relations with Russia Despite Ukraine Crisis

The Russian publication noted that Solberg met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi a month ago to discuss cooperation in key areas of relations between the two countries, including energy, economic, environmental protection, cultural cooperation and future potential. 

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende also visited Russia in January. He signed a plan with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on cooperation between their ministries for 2014-2015, in regional formats as the Arctic Council, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, and the Northern Dimension. 

But just three days earlier, on March 2, Norwegian Foreign Ministry released a condemnation on Russian military escalation in Crimea. “Russia’s military activities in Crimea and the threats of further use of military force are a breach of international law. Russia has a particular responsibility to de-escalate the tense situation. The Russian authorities must immediately accept Ukraine’s request for dialogue with a view to resolving the crisis without the use of violence,” said Børge Brende in the press release.

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Also Solberg added that Norway would follow the European and NATO policy despite “excellent relations” between the two countries. “We must take into account the fact that Russia broke a number of rules of international law. The government of Norway may have to make a tough choice in the near future,” she said.

Norway has not notified any direct sanctions, but Tuesday afternoon it was decided that neither Health Minister Bent Høie nor Princess Märtha Louise will attend the Paralympics in Sochi Russia in March as opposed to previously planned.

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