“Dialogue with Russia is more important than ever”

“It is clear that it is very serious when Norwegian politicians denied entry to Russia, but a dialogue with our neighbour it is important to maintain,” says Martin Henriksen (Henriksen Martin).

As you know, the Committee on foreign Affairs and defence of the Storting canceled a visit to Moscow because Bordo Solely (Bård Vegar Solhjell) (socialist left party), and the Grand Trine (The Skei Grande) (the Left party) were denied visas. The reason is that Norway takes part in the sanctions against Russia. The trip would be the first visit of the Norwegian politicians of such a high rank in the Russian capital over the past three years.

Violation of international law

According to the Deputy of Parliament from the Norwegian labour party of Norway, it is important to maintain the sanctions imposed against Russia after the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula.

“We cannot accept the violation of international law, but in the current tense situation, dialogue is more important than ever. And we in the North dialogue has a long tradition,” says Henriksen.

Save “people’s diplomacy”

For Henriksen the preservation of “public diplomacy” that has developed in the North, is now more important than ever before. Norway has good relations with Russia in the field of culture, fisheries and other economic activities, as well as in the field of education. The cooperation between the Nations on the border of Russia and Norway — the perfect way to keep contacts between the two countries, says Henriksen.

But how do we maintain good relations with Russia, if the refusal to issue visas to parliamentarians — almost hostile move against Norway?

— We must not forget that the ban applies to the level of deputies of the Parliament. It is therefore important that public diplomacy continued. We in the North need people who understand each other, in both Norwegian and on the Russian side. So this cooperation should be intensified. Dialogue is more important than ever, says Martin Henriksen.

Cooperation in the North can save Europe

“We can’t stop hoping. Therefore, we need to fight for the normalization of relations with Russia. Sooner or later it will happen. And therefore, for Norway and for Europe as a whole it is important to maintain cooperation, which will allow you to quickly restore contacts,” said Martin Henriksen at the end of the conversation.