Russian And Spanish PMs Find Mutual Understanding

Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, currently on a visit to Madrid, has claimed to have reached a complete understanding on all the issues with his Spanish counterpart Jose Maria Aznar. By Kasyanov's estimate, Russia and Spain have made a considerable headway in their economic cooperation but both sides would like to speed up their economic integration. He said the parties had achieved an agreement on two projects to be implemented as part of converting Russia's debt to Spain into investments and Russian goods supplies. Thus, Kasyanov said, one of the projects envisages that hulls of Russian vessels be delivered to Spanish shipyards. The other one stipulates production of railway carriages and wagons with automatically changing tracks. The two projects are estimated at some 100 million dollars. Kasyanov was also satisfied to point to an agreement to lift quotas on Russian diplomats' stay in Spain. Russia had earlier introduced such a measure with regard to Spanish diplomats. In turn, Jose Maria Aznar noted that experts of the two countries would soon finish coordinating agreements on mutual protection of capital investment. In addition, the sides intend to conclude a cooperation agreement in the science-technical area. Within these negotiations, prime ministers of the two countries signed an agreement on opening the Servantes Institute in Moscow and creating conditions for setting up Russian cultural centres in Spain. The Servantes Institute is to open in Moscow in February 2002. The crown prince of Spain is expected to arrive at the opening ceremony. The sides are preparing themselves to mark the 25th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between Russia and Spain.

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