Medvedev to meet with Zapatero, Halonen on Saturday

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will hold bilateral talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Finnish President Tarja Halonen on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Spain is an honorary guest of this year’s forum, and the visit of Zapatero is expected to give “a serious impulse to trade between the two countries and their cooperation in trade, economics, investment and innovation,” Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said ahead of the forum.

Medvedev and Zapatero are also expected to meet with representatives of Russian and Spanish business circles.

Trade turnover between Russia and Spain stood at $7 billion in 2010. Spain invested $120 million in Russia last year, with accumulated investments reaching $920 million.

The agenda of the talks between Medvedev and Halonen includes international issues such as the strengthening of Russia’s cooperation with the European Union and NATO within the United Nations and regional structures in northern Europe, Prikhodko said.

The two presidents will also discuss bilateral trade and economic issues, including cooperation in the spheres of shipbuilding, energy and timber production.

Trade turnover between Russia and Finland reached $16.75 billion last year, a 28-percent increase since 2009.

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