Embassy letter not on the Agenda when Brende met Lavrov

Norway's Foreign Minister Borge BrendeNorway's Foreign Minister Borge Brende.Photo.(Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

When Foreign Minister Brende met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov on Friday, the sharp note from the Russian Embassy in Oslo was not mentioned.

The two ministers met in the German town of Bonn on Friday and the three-page note from the Russian Embassy was not mentioned by Lavrov, according to the newspaper VG.

Brende therefore chose not to bring it up, either.

“I did not get the impression that he was aware of this letter”, says Brende.

Over three pages the Embassy verbally attacks the Norwegian authorities and claim that they aim “to intimidate the people of Norway with a mythical Russian ‘threat’ and overtly try to secure additional funding and authorisations at the expense of the welfare, rights and personal freedoms of Norwegian citizens “.

“The Russian part has for several years made Norwegian colleagues aware of the unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations”, the statement also read.

Brende and Lavrov however did speak of Brende’s upcoming visit to Russia in March, his first visit since 2014.

-“He said he appreciated that I’m going to Arkhangelsk”, says Brende.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, might also attend the March meeting.

There is no formal meeting scheduled between Brende and Putin, but if the opportunity arises, it will “not be unnatural” to exchange greetings with the president, said the Foreign Minister.