Foreign Minister Børge Brende during the opening ceremony of the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø on Tuesday mentioned about a visit to Russia in next spring.
It is the first time since Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula in 2014 that Brende visiting Norway’s largest eastern neighbor.
– I am invited to an Arctic conference in Arkhangelsk. We consider the possibility to attend, said Brende on Tuesday in respond to questions from Russian media.
At the beginning of December last year, Brende mentioned to the newspaper VG about attending the Arkhangelsk conference, but Tuesday’s statement shows that the final decision is still not taken yet on this case.
Brende stressed on Tuesday that both countries cooperate well in a number of areas in the north, although he described it purely military relations between Norway and Russia in the north as asymmetrical.
– We have seen an increase in the Russian defense budgets over the past year which has been quite substantial.
We are closely following the case but this does not affect the situation in the north as a whole. Basically, the Arctic is a peaceful region, and we want it stays that way, said the Foreign Minister.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today