Swedish premier, foreign minister to visit Russia
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is to visit Russia next week for talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian other officials.
The one-day visit is the first by a Swedish premier for "a long time," Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was to accompany Reinfeldt, told broadcaster TV4 on Wednesday, dpa reported.
Relations between Sweden and Russia suffered in the wake of the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, partly over the criticism that Bildt voiced in his blog against Moscow's actions.
A slight thaw was noted when Medvedev visited Stockholm in November for an EU-Russia summit during Sweden's presidency of the European Union. There, he invited Swedish leaders to visit Moscow.
"The EU summit was a step forward and I had good talks with Medvedev," Reinfeldt was quoted as telling the Dagens Nyheter daily.
Reinfeldt said he wanted to discuss Medvedev's plans to reform Russia, including tackling corruption and red tape, not the least since these issues impact Swedish companies in Russia.
Other topics likely to feature on the agenda include trade and climate change.
Reinfeldt and Bildt were also scheduled to meet with human rights groups.