Margot Wallström meets with civil society representatives and students in Arkhangelsk

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    Barents 2017 Photo: Embassy of Sweden

  • Photo 2017-10-18 05.10.33.146 em

    Barents 2017 Photo: Embassy of Sweden

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    Barents 2017 Photo: Embassy of Sweden

In view of the Swedish presidency of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, foreign minister Margot Wallström today met with representatives of civil society in the Russian Barents region. The main topics of the meeting were the rights and living conditions of indigenous peoples, environmental issues, the situation for young people, as well as gender and LGBT issues. The objective was to give the minister the opportunity to learn about civil society’s view on challenges and opportunities in the Barents region, and how cooperation can be developed between our countries.

−        It’s always inspiring to meet representatives of civil society in Russia. During our discussion today, I learnt about how Russian civil society representatives view the challenges and opportunities in the region. The Barents region is an inspiring example of successful people to people cooperation, far away from respective capitals. Sweden would like to strengthen this cooperation, minister Wallström said after the meeting.

The participants of the meeting were:

Anna Kireyeva, former Bellona, Murmansk
Igor Sazhin, Memorial, Syktyvkar
Nadya Inyeva, Aethas, Arkhangelsk
Tatyana Vinnichenko, former Rakurs, Arkhangelsk
Valentina Sovkina, Sami Parliament, Kola Peninsula.

Minister Wallström also gave a lecture at Arkhangelsk Federal University, NArFU. In her speech, she offered examples of how both countries through joint efforts can make our region safer. NArFU has good cooperation with other universities in the Barents region, not least in Sweden. At the meeting, the Swedish Institute handed over Swedish books as a gift to the Swedish section of the university library.