Author`s name Pravda.Ru

President Putin to meet Argentine President Saturday

President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet his Argentine counterpart, Nestor Kirchner, on Saturday.

Mr. Kirchner will make a stopover in Moscow en route from Prague to Beijing, said Aleksei Gromov, the president's press spokesman.

According to Argentina's Telam news agency, the relevant agreement was achieved during Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa's official visit to Russia. Mr. Bielsa is in Moscow from June 23. He is expected to join the Argentine delegation that will accompany the president in his trip to China.

Argentine ambassador in Moscow Juan Carlos Sanchez Arnau told Argentine reporters in Moscow that the upcoming meeting showed that Mr. Putin attached great importance to relations with Argentina.

The Russian and Argentine foreign ministers met in talks on Friday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following talks that Argentina expected Mr. Putin to meet the leaders of the MERCOSUR member-countries.

Mr. Lavrov said Argentina wanted President Putin to meet the MERCOSUR leaders after the APEC summit due in Chile in November.

"We promised to think about Argentina's proposals and convey them to President Putin," said Mr. Lavrov.

The MERCOSUR common South American market was established in 1995. It comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Chile and Bolivia are the organisation's associated members.

The four countries have abolished customs duties and other limitation on 90% of commodities and products. They have also fixed single foreign tariffs on 85% of imported products.

Today, MERCOSUR is the largest integrated market in Latin America.