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    SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER: RUSSIA HAS KEY IMPORTANCE FOR SWEDEN'S SECURITY

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Sweden's attitude towards Russia is based on the desire to see it stable and prospering, Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said, when speaking at the Russian Foreign Ministry's diplomatic academy on Tuesday.

    "Russia has a key importance for ensuring Sweden's security," she emphasized.

    Russia and Sweden are close neighbors in the Baltic region, which in the recent years has been becoming more and more stable, Ms. Freivalds recalled.

    "This stability is the basis for close and deep cooperation between the region's states. The main threats to our common security today are organized crime, illegal migration and contagious diseases. We should fight against them together," she said.

    The countries have already established successful cooperation in the fight against these threats, the minister emphasized and added that she hoped it would continue strengthening.

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