Sweden to freeze military cooperation with Russia

Other News Materials 18 August 2008 21:37 (UTC +04:00)

Sweden on Monday said it will freeze its military cooperation with Russia in protest of the conflict in Georgia, dpa reported.

"During the current crisis the government says it until further notice will not conduct military manoeuvres with Russia or visit Russian military units," Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said after a meeting with the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs.

Reinfeldt said a Swedish navy unit would next month cancel a planned visit to Russia.

Sweden also urged Russia to "cease with activities that destabilize Georgia by for instance destroying infrastructure or blocking important roads," a statement issued by the Swedish prime minister's office said.

Furthermore, Russian forces have to move back to their positions before the fighting began in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, the statement said.

The Swedish government's move was backed by the opposition Social Democrats, the party's leader Mona Sahlin said.

The advisory council groups the government and opposition and is chaired by the head of state. Crown Princess Victoria chaired the meeting Monday in the absence of her father, King Carl Gustaf, who is attending the Olympic Games in Beijing.