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Sweden Satisfied with EU Talks on Georgia

Published tisdag 2 september 2008 kl 11.55
Trucks blocking the Georgian border to Russia

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says he is satisfied with the results of the European Union summit in Brussels over the Georgian situation - even though there was no agreement for any sanctions against Russia for its role in the conflict.

The prime minister says the EU meeting has made it clear that it wants Russia to pull out its remaining troops from Georgia and that the EU supports economic reconstruction in Georgia itself.

The Swede adds that he is convinced that Russia is concerned over outside criticism over Georgia conflict, but that the sanctions some EU members talked about would be more harmful to the EU than to Russia - since the EU wants to have good relations with Russia in the future.

The Brussels meeting has frozen work on a new agreement between the EU and Russia until the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says he is worried over the Russian recognition of the two break-away Georgian provinces – adding that this threatens stability in the region and Russia’s relationship with the EU.

Responding to criticism that Sweden has has reduced funding to non-government organizations working for democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and elsewhere,  Bildt says the center-right government is planning to increase this funding in the coming budget.

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