Putin: Russia's working on a mechanism to safeguard foreign investment

Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is seriously working on a mechanism to guarantee the safety of foreign investment in Russia and complete the legal base for transnational co-operation.

The Russian president, while appearing at a St. Petersburg meeting between Baltic Sea Council heads of state on Monday, said that the Council provided Russia with particularly important opportunities to develop partnership relations between Russia's north-west and neighbouring Baltic regions. The head of state stressed that almost a quarter of all Russia's economic activity was conducted with Baltic states.

"Our trade-turnover with Baltic states exceeds 37 billion euros, their accumulated level of investment in Russia is almost 9 billion euros, while direct investment is more than 3 billion euros," Putin said.

The president pointed to developing the north, especially its energy, mineral and biological resources, as one of the areas of joint work, as well as establishing stable and rational transport networks. Putin also pointed to the possibility of expanding scientific exchange programmes, and contacts in the cultural educational, sport and tourism spheres.

The head of state is counting on the fact that the Council will act further as the main coordinator of multi-faceted interaction in the region.

Moreover, the president expressed his hope that the Council would also act to expand trade and economic and humanitarian ties, expand regional co-operation and develop an infrastructure to enhance ties with the rest of the world.

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