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Stockholm to Seek Boost of Cooperation With Moscow - Swedish PM's Office

© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziSwedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven - Sputnik International
STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) – The Swedish government will seek boost of cooperation with Russia on the issues that are interesting for Stockholm, the office of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said after his Tuesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The government is seeking deepening cooperation with Russia on the issues interesting for Sweden, including trade, environment, climate and healthcare. There is also a strong interest in developing human contacts, especially between civil societies”, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

The leaders held a meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the International Arctic Forum in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

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After the events in Ukraine and the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014, Sweden has stuck to the position adopted by the European Union and has strongly supported sanctions against Russia. The two countries’ ministries and departments suspended all contacts at the initiative of the Swedish side.

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However, there has been reportedly positive dynamics in bilateral trade in recent years. In 2018, the Russian-Swedish trade amounted to $5.3 billion, compared to $4 billion in 2017. Russian exports totaled $3.1 billion, while imports reached $2.2 billion. Russia’s primary exports to Sweden include mineral products and chemicals, while the imports are mainly represented by machinery, equipment and vehicles; metals and metal products; wood and pulp and paper products; food products; and agricultural raw materials.

In 2017, the volume of accumulated Russian investments in Sweden amounted to $225 million, while Sweden invested in Russia $3.8 billion. Around 350 Swedish companies, including Volvo, Scania, and Ericsson, have representative offices and branches in Russia.

In turn, the Swedish Kubal, the only producer of primary aluminum in the country and one of the country’s largest industrial enterprises, is one of the examples of Russian investments.

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The Arctic Council comprises a total of eight member states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is one of the general media partners of the event

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