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Norway cancels Russia meetings over Crimea

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Norway cancels Russia meetings over Crimea
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg meets Norwegian Navy personnel in December. Photo: Prime Minister's Office
11:21 CET+01:00
Norway has cancelled a string of future diplomatic meetings with Russia in protest at the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Climate and Environment minister Tine Sundtoft had cancelled a trip to Moscow next week, while the country was pulling out of Northern Eagle, a joint naval exercise held with Russian and the United States. 
 
"The Climate Minister will not travel, and there are several other points of contact that are not going to be implemented,"  Solberg told Norway's VG newspaper. 
 
However Solberg stressed that it was nonetheless important to maintain a relationship with Russia, particularly around their far-Northern border. 
 
"It is important for the situation in the north that we maintain our relationship with Russia because we have strong common interests," she said.  
 
She said that Nato had not prevented Russia's ambassador to Norway from observing Cold Response, the Nato exercise held in far northern Norway, which ended on Thursday. 
 
"We did not throw them out," she said. "However, we are greatly concerned about what is happening in Ukraine." 
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