The Minister for foreign Affairs Margot Wallström (Margot Wallström) break the diplomatic ice in relations with Russia and will meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the lion’s den. The meeting in itself was not surprising, but the choice of location is surprising: Putin’s Moscow.
Sweden is among the fiercest critics of the Russian regime since three years ago when war broke out in the Ukraine and was annexed Crimea.
Russian aggression, a powerful build-up of arms and the tense atmosphere in the Baltic States was the cause of this verbal bombardment of the Swedish government in Moscow.
At the same time, all diplomatic contacts at the level of senior officials have been frozen. Deputy foreign Minister Seder Annika (Annika Söder) meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Titov every six months in Moscow, then in Stockholm, but it is limited.
Last fall, Russia’s Ambassador in Stockholm, Victor Tatarintsev describe the relations between the two countries as “the worst in a long time.” But no more, as earlier in the week, Wallström again, with critical remarks on Russia in connection with questions of security in Europe: “Russia’s Aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea threaten the very foundations of European security.”
And here there is a dramatic change of scenery: “speeding from zero to a hundred”, not only Wallström will meet with Lavrov, but, will be guest of the Russian government in Moscow.
Last time Wallström and Lavrov met rather casually, at a meeting of the Organization for security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Basel in December 2014. Meet on neutral territory it was possible this time. Especially considering that Wallström and Lavrov next weekend will be in the same place for the big annual security conference in Munich.
But instead, Margot Wallström, on 20 February, after lunch I get on a plane and fly to Moscow, and this, according to Mead, should not be seen as a concession to Russian pressure.
Of course, Wallström is not the only one who steps on Russian land. 20 out of 28 EU countries in recent years have sent high-level delegations to Moscow, only took about 40 visits.
Now that the Minister of foreign Affairs itself is going to Moscow, served even as an advantage, as she could meet with other representatives of Russian society. What exactly, the foreign Ministry did not elaborate, but if Wallström is going to organize a private meeting in Moscow with persons who are considered critics of the regime, the situation can get complicated.
The agenda of the meeting with Lavrov unknown. But it certainly will be addressed such topics as the war in Syria and the recently aggravated situation in Ukraine. Another likely subject of conversation is controlled by Russian state gas project “North stream — 2”, whose pipeline will pass close to Gotland. At the same time, Wallström from a purely tactical reasons to abstain from certain issues or to raise them only very gently.
The MFA has long sought to establish contacts with Russia at the Ministerial level, as previously mentioned SvD. The fact that the country is in a period of two years will be a member of the UN security Council. Without a working dialogue with the Russian in new York eliminates any opportunity to get the Committee something significant.
In his speech this week, Margot Wallström also stressed that “we need to make greater efforts to establishing contacts with Russia.” Now you should incredibly carefully choose the words are one and a half weeks remaining until the moment when the foreign Minister set foot on the plane to Moscow.