- Russia is a theme that engages and provokes. That is a good sign. Having a debate about a neighbor as large and significant as Russia is important.
So said the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Deputy Secretary Marit Berger Røsland last Friday, when speaking during a breakfast meeting organized by the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO).
Before the weekend, Deputy Secretary Marit Berger Røsland said to the attendees at the breakfast meeting:
- Let me start off by emphasizing that our foreign policy towards Russia remains the same. We want good neighborly relations with Russia. We achieve this better through being predictable, consistent, clear and firm in our dialogue with Russia. Our experiences is that this contributes to reducing doubts, insecurities and misunderstandings, and through that the potential for conflict and unwanted incidents. Yet at the same time we acknowledge that we do not always agree with our neighbor. Therefore Norway, along with like-minded countries, has stood firmly on public international law and defended vital principles for international interaction as a response to Russia’s breaking public international law in Ukraine. A good neighbor should also be able to speak freely when disagreeing.
- The NRCC plays a vital role in promoting and strengthening business cooperation between Norway and Russia, and I want to take the opportunity to praise you for doing a good and result-oriented job, the Deputy Secretary said.
- Norway’s exports to Russia amounts to just over two billion kroner. It should be 15 billion kroner, she says.
Norwegian exports to Russia have dropped dramatically following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, which the Russian Ambassador also emphasized in his interview with High North News.
Read the entire speech of MFA Deputy Secretary Marit Berger Røsland here. (Available in Norwegian only.)
Les artikkelen på norsk.