On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Moscow with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde. She arrived in Moscow in a dual capacity – as the head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry and as a representative of the country that currently holds the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Sergey Lavrov’s greeting speech was rather short and formal. And Mrs. Linde criticized Russia for violating human rights.
“Today is a good opportunity to talk about what has happened this year in our common OSCE space in preparation for the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Stockholm in early December,” the Russian Foreign Minister said. “We will be ready to hear your assessments of the state of preparation documents and look forward to at least briefly discuss the state of our bilateral relations. “
Ann Linde’s return greeting, however, surprised the host. Within the framework of a rather lengthy speech prepared in advance, the Swedish minister said, among other things, about the deterioration of the situation with the observance of human rights in Russia. According to her, this trend worries Sweden and contradicts both national and international obligations of Russia. Ann Linde added that the current situation with democracy in Russia is also bad for people-to-people contacts.
“You haven’t all said what you would like? Sergei Lavrov asked her when she read to the end. “If I knew you would say this, I would give you such a lecture.”
At this, the press was asked to leave, then the negotiations continued in a closed format.