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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nordics Urged to Combat AIDS in Baltics and Russia

SOERMARKA, Norway- Norway urged rich Nordic nations and Germany Friday to help combat poverty and a surge in AIDS and tuberculosis in north-west Russia and the Baltic states.

"The number of cases of HIV in some Baltic countries and the St Petersburg area have doubled" since early 2000, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after a meeting of social democratic parties in the Nordic region.

"The number of cases of resistant tuberculosis is rising sharply. It's urgent to get measures in place. I think people understand this in the Nordic and Baltic countries," he said.

He also said that a fight against poverty was a key part of a fight against the illnesses.

Stoltenberg said he had sent a letter to leaders of nations linked to the Baltic region -- ranging from wealthy Nordic nations and Germany to Russia and the Baltic states -- asking for help. "I hope for answers by Jan. 15," he said.

Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the only other Nordic premier at the news conference, said: "We give full support to the initiative." Stoltenberg did not say how much cash was needed.