Spain to contribute to Russian energy industry reform

Following his talks with Russian Vice-Premier Victor Khristenko, Spain's Economics Minister, Vice Premier Rodrigo Rato told newsmen that Spanish companies would like to contribute to Russian power industry reforms. The quick growth and remodeling of the Russian energy industry will enable Spanish companies to increase their investment in this sphere, said Rato.

He explained this move by the dynamic electricity sector in Spain trying to tap the world markets, including Russia. Rato and Khristenko also dealt with conversion of the former USSR's debt to Spain into investment. The Spanish vice-premier referred to a debt settlement to the tune of some $100 million. "We shall have to see whether it pays off or not," he noted.

Rato also reported that both sides had declared in favour of increasing Spanish economic presence in Russia. Bilateral economic cooperation is certain to benefit by Russia's admission to the World Trade Organisation and mounting economic growth rate, he said.

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