Russia, Lebanon Revive Economic Partnership Commission, Say Premiers

The Russian and Lebanese Prime Ministers met at the negotiation table to agree on the revival of a bilateral intergovernmental commission for trade and economic, research and technological partnership, Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia's Prime Minister, announced to newsmen after the talks. The negotiators highlighted a number of projects to be implemented in Lebanon with Russian corporate involvements--in particular, two petroleum-processing factories to be restored and updated, an oil pipeline and an electric transmission line to be built, and hydropower stations for construction on Lebanese mountain streams. The Premiers called to put an end to a bilateral commercial imbalance in Russia's favour. A related federal agency will draft a set of measures to boost the trade turnover and balance it out. As Rafiq Hariri, Lebanese Prime Minister, was addressing the media audience in his turn, he highlighted analyses of prospects for a Russo-Lebanese free trade zone. More detailed debates will come up as the revived intergovernmental commission gathers for session quite soon, he said.

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