A joint meeting of the Russian-Czech consultative working group is to take place on May 15 at the 'Kazan Fair'. The meeting will be devoted to issues concerning cooperation between the Russian Ministry for Economic Development and Trade and the Czech Trade and Industry Ministry. According to the Tatarstan Trade and Economic Cooperation Ministry's press secretary, Ilshat Galyavin, it is planned to discuss widening cooperation between regions belonging to the 'Greater Volga' Association and the Czech Republic, as well as increasing the attractiveness of these regions to investors.
Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Basta is expected to take part in the meeting along with Gennady Kuranov, the head of the Russian Ministry for Economic Development and Trade's Department for Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasting, Vlastimil Gejdos, an advisor to the Czech Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, and representatives of Russian regional governments, the Czech Embassy in Russia, Czech state insurance company EGAP and the Czech export bank.
According to preliminary figures from the Russian Foreign Ministry, trade between Russia and the Czech Republic was worth USD 2.45 billion in 2002. Russia exports mainly fuel and raw materials (80% of total trade), while cars and equipment make up only 3.3% of the total. In contrast, cars and equipment accounted for 50% of Czech exports to Russia last year.
The US Government Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission) prepared a plan to partition Russia into several independent smaller states