Source Pravda.Ru

King Harald V of Norway to receive Russian Foreign Minister

During his official visit to Norway starting on June 1 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be received by King Harald V, Norwegian ambassador to Russia Oyvind Nordsletten told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

"Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to meet the King, Prime Minister and parliamentarians," the ambassador said.

In addition, Sergei Lavrov will meet his Norwegian counterpart and they will sign a protocol on consultations between the two ministries, Mr. Nordsletten said.

In his words, the Russian-Norwegian talks will focus on key international issues (the Middle East, Iraq, the Kyoto protocol and Russia's accession to WTO) and bilateral cooperation in fishery, oil, electric energy and other spheres.

On June 2 Sergei Lavrov will participate in the opening of an exposition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Russian-Norwegian diplomatic relations in the Oslo Folk Museum, the ambassador added. Besides, the Russian Foreign Minister will visit a big oil refinery.

The Norwegian ambassador highly assessed bilateral contacts between the two countries.

"In a year almost a half of our government visited Russia," Oyvind Nordsletten told RIA Novosti. According to him, Russia was the first country to acknowledge Norway's independence in 1905.

Some countries, for instance, France and the US, believed they were the first to acknowledge Norwegian independence from Sweden. However, we thoroughly examined all documents and saw that it was Russia, the ambassador stressed.

Speaking about key issues of cooperation, Oyvind Nordsletten pointed out rapid development of economic links. "Our countries participate in the development of northern seas in fishery, oil, gas and electric energy spheres," he said.

In his opinion, Norway can share its oil production experience with Russia, in particular, the drilling technique. In addition, the two countries can develop cooperation in the telecommunications field, the ambassador noted.

According to him, Oslo comes out for the simplification of visa regulations with Moscow.

"Several thousand Russians live in Norway," he said. Ten years ago some hundred Russian nationals lived here, the ambassador added. The first Orthodox monastery was recently opened in Norway, Oyvind Nordsletten told RIA Novosti.

So, we are developing contacts, he stressed.

Norway is not an EU member but belongs to the Schengen system. However, Oslo hopes to ease visa regulations with Moscow, as well as the European Union.

In his words, Moscow should conclude a readmission agreement.

"I believe we have prospects for the simplification," the ambassador concluded.

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