Oslo, 25 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov discussed Arctic cooperation with Norwegian officials today before a meeting later with Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland. He is expected to discuss Russia's relations with NATO and issues of bilateral concern with the prime minister.
A Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Primakov met with Foreign Minister Bjoern Tore Godal and local officials from Arctic Norway on cooperative projects in the Barents Sea area. Topics included developing telecommunications and the joint use of natural resources.
Primakov is on the second day of a two-day state visit to Norway. He is expected to discuss Russia's relations with NATO and issues of bilateral concern when he meets with the Norwegian Prime Minister.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjoern Godal yesterday, Primakov said he was "cautiously optimistic" that some progress would soon be made on a framework agreement governing relations between Russia and NATO. But he also reaffirmed Moscow's continued opposition to NATO's plans to expand into Central and Eastern Europe and reported no progress in his discussions on that issue.
Before arriving in Olso, Primakov met in Brussels with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. The alliance has proposed a range of measures to try to allay Moscow's concern over its planned expansion. But NATO says it will not halt its drive eastward.