On the eve of the Moscow visit by Slovakia's President Rudolf Schuster, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said that the economic contacts between Russia and Slovakia are mutually beneficial. In a RIA Novosti interview, he said that Russian oil, gas and nuclear fuel supplies fully meet Slovakia's demand, and Slovakia's oil refining, steel-making and chemical industries are working on Russia's raw materials. According to the Foreign Ministry, Russia holds the third place in the external trade of Slovakia. Last year, mutual trade turnover constituted 2.2 billion dollars, which is an almost 52-percent increase from 1999. Slovakia exports to Russia mostly cars, equipment, consumer goods and medicines. More than 20 joint projects in the industrial sector are being considered.
The Russian armed forces took possession of one of the German PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers delivered to Ukraine, the Bild* newspaper reports.