Vladimir Putin and Stefan Löfven have met today, The Local Sweden reported. The period of the cold relationship between Sweden and Russia should be left behind, the experts believe.
The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Russian President Vladimir Putin have had their first one-on-one meeting on Tuesday at the International Arctic Forum in St Petersburg. Since 2010, the forum became the platform for many international organizations, government officials and researchers to discuss the latest developments in the region and to find the business and scientific partners.
In 2019, the forum’s topic is sustainable growth in the Arctic region, the issue linked to both countries, Russia and Sweden. This year, PM Löfven have used the opportunity to address “issues that are important to Sweden”, among them are Russian aspects. There is not likely to be any shortage of such issues, with the two nations previously arguing about Russian fighter jets straying into Swedish airspace, Sweden’s assertion that Russian spies are operating in the country, and increased tension in the Baltic region.
Vladimir Putin to meet several European leaders
The Russian president is also scheduled to meet Iceland’s President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the conference. Arctic issues, environment and issues of the further cooperation are reportedly in their agenda.
Löfven and Putin have never sat down for a bilateral meeting before, and high-level meetings between the two countries have in general been few and far in between in recent years. According to the Swedish political experts, the basic tone of the Swedish-Russian talks will not change. The relationship will remain pretty much as it is. Löfven will reaffirm the official position on Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, the involvement in Syria, and possibly the incidents in the Baltic Sea. The Swedish government will use the meeting for this.