The fridge plant Stinol started producing Indesit fridges in June 2002.Their share in the total output of the plant is expected to be about 50percent, Kakha Kobakhidze, Merloni's director for Russia, CIS and Balticstates, told in an interview with RosBusinessConsulting. The Italiancompany Merloni bought Stinol in 2002. According to Kobakhidze, theproduction of the A class fridges of the model Indesit Forma has beenstarted this summer.This August the plant plans to produce more than 100,000 fridges of theStinol and Indesit trademarks. In the first seven months of 2002, some650,000 fridges were manufactured, which was 11 percent higher than in thecorresponding period of last year. On the whole, the expected output of theStinol plant in 2002 will be 1.1m-1.2m fridges, which is a 10 percentgrowth, compared to 2001. By the year 2004, the company plans to producesome 1.5m fridges annually.At the same time Merloni is analyzing the efficiency of constructing awashing machine manufacturing plant in the Lipetsk region. Theimplementation of this project is scheduled for 2004-2005, Kobakhidzepointed out.According to Merloni's estimations, the capacity of the Russian market oflarge-sized household appliances is 4.5m pieces annually. The company'sshare on the market is about 36 percent. Sales on the Russian marketprovide a 10 percent share in the amount of Merloni's total revenues. Thisyear the company will invest $20m in the development of Stinol, compared to$17m last year. In 2003 the volume of investments is expected to advance to$24m-25m..
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE