KIRKENES, Norway, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday laid a wreath at the Soviet war memorial and met with WWII veterans in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes.
The Russian foreign minister thanked Norwegian "brothers-in-arms" who fought alongside Soviet soldiers to end Nazi occupation of the Eastern Finnmark close to Russia.
"On behalf of our people and our president I would like to bow down to the ground before you and wish you all the best," Lavrov said.
In his turn, Norwegian foreign policy chief Borge Brende expressed his gratitude to the assembled war veterans, saying the liberation of Finnmark was an important holiday for Norway.
On Friday, Sergei Lavrov flew to Norway to meet with his Norwegian counterpart on the 70th anniversary of the WWII liberation of parts of northern Norway by Soviet troops.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich, the ministers are expected to discuss regional, primarily economic cooperation between the two nations, which comes amid harsh times of anti-Russia economic sanctions.
Their bilateral cooperation has so far survived the upheaval caused by the Ukraine crisis and continues to exist on several levels.
Russia and Norway continue to meet in the framework of the eight-member Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), as well as the Northern Dimension forum, all with a particular emphasis on the Arctic partnership.
The Lavrov-Brende meeting will be held in the town of Kirkenes, which was the first town in Norway to be liberated from German occupation more than six months before the end of World War II.
The Soviet counter-offensive in October 1944 drove Nazi forces away from the border, forcing them to abandon Kirkenes, which serves as their stronghold and a supply base. Since then, October 25 has been marked in Kirkenes as the local Liberation Day.