First Top-Level Meeting Between Norway and Russia In Ten Years,

When PM Erna Solberg meets with Russian president in St. Petersburg next week, it will be the first time in ten years that the two countries’ Heads of State are in direct discussions. She will not reveal what they are to talk about. We are clearly witnessing a shift in atmosphere now, says expert on Russia. […]

The prime minister’s office says the two heads of state will have bilateral talks Tuesday afternoon. Erna Solberg met with the Russian prime minister during the Olympic Games in Sotchi 2014, however, a joint press briefing following these talks were unexpectedly cancelled – probably due to Solberg’s raising the issue of human rights conditions in Russia.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Iceland’s President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson have also announced that they will attend the conference.[…]

Senior researcher and Russia expert at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI), Julie Wilhelmsen, argues that Solberg’s visit to Russia fits in to a larger European pattern in which many states have become more realistic about how to relate to Russia.

– There has clearly been a shift of atmosphere in the sense that Nordic heads of state and also some other European heads of state have found closer diplomatic contact with Russia to be a necessity, Wilhelmsen says to High North News. Läs artikel