Moscow observes Norway's serious interest in economic cooperation with Russia. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, made a statement to this effect at a press conference following his talks with Jan Petersen, his Norwegian counterpart.
Lavrov pointed out that Norwegian companies were active making investments in the real sector of the Russian economy, as well as the hi-tech sector.
"We want to participate in joint projects for the development of the Barents Sea," Lavrov said. The countries will develop cooperation on projects in Spitsbergen (Spitsbergen is an archipelago under Norway's jurisdiction in the northern part of the Barents Sea, with the countries' right to engage in economic activities there being written into a special agreement). The minister specified that the joint projects were related to fishing.
Replying to the Norwegian journalists' question about prospects for Russian oil exports to the United States under the Murmansk-New York project, Lavrov pointed out that "this project fits well into current cooperation projects." He also said that during his two-way visit to the Norwegian capital special attention would be given to economic issues.
Moscow believes that a serious economic constituent in its relations with Oslo is only natural, said Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian foreign ministry's official spokesman after the talks between the Russian and Norwegian foreign ministers.
In his words, great attention at the talks was given to the two countries' economic cooperation.
Last year, Russian-Norwegian trade reached a record level of $1.2 billion. Yakovenko noted that about 60 projects aimed at developing north-western and polar regions of Russia were being implemented within the framework of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.
Pointing to the two countries' common interests in the sphere of oil and gas processing, Yakovenko said that Moscow and Oslo had good prospects /for cooperation/ in the energy sector.
In Yakovenko's words, during their talks the ministers also touched on the problem of decommissioning Russian nuclear submarines.