Kasyanov meets Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has met Jan Peter Balkenende, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and Anders Fog Rasmussen, respective Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, in the framework of the UN summit underway in Johannesburg.

According to the Governmental Information Board, Mikhail Kasyanov discussed with his Dutch colleague agricultural issues, including those of the access of Russian agricultural produce to Europe's markets and subsidies for agriculture in Europe and in the world.

Agricultural subsidies is one of the key issues at the Johannesburg forum. The most developed countries allocate up to $1 billion a day in subsidies to their agricultural industries.

The Governmental Information board stressed in this respect that the position of less developed countries is more than negative, as subsidies make their production uncompetitive. In his yesterday's speech, Eurocommission Chairman Romano Prodi noted that the current system of state support for agriculture must be abolished.

The conversation between Kasyanov and Norwegian Premier Kjell Magne Bondevik was focused on the Kyoto protocol along with the issues of fishing and division of the Barents Sea's shelf.

According to the Governmental Information Board, Kasyanov and Bondevik discussed Russia-NATO co-operation. The Russian Prime Minister emphasised that "Russia's position as regards NATO enlargement has not changed".

The parties agreed that the prices on the fuel-energy complex's products should be stable. In addition, the premiers of Russia and Norway discussed Norway's possible involvement in the global partnership programme.

The Kaliningrad problem and the initiative of Russia's President Vladimir Putin about visa-free movement of Russian and EU citizens were discussed during the meeting of Kasyanov and Danish Prime Minister Fog Rasmussen.

Kasyanov and Rasmussen also discussed WTO-related issues, agricultural subsidies, the establishment of a single economic area, and the co-operation in the Baltic and the North, along with the Kyoto protocol ratification.

The Department of Governmental Information noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to visit the countries whose leaders Mikhail Kasyanov had met.

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