Russo-Spanish Relations To Top Agenda Of Russian Premier's Visit To Spain

To dominate the agenda of the Russian premier's official visit to Spain, which is beginning Wednesday, are Russo-Spanish relations and bilateral interaction within the framework of the European Union. As to contacts with the EU, to be discussed are arrangements for a Russia-EU summit, due in Moscow in May, 2002, according to sources in the Russian government. Beginning January, 2002, Spain will be holding the rotating chairmanship at the EU. Russia-EU cooperation in the fields of energy, fishery and environment, the joint fight against terrorism and organized crime, as well as the Kaliningrad's future, are the issues to be raised at Mikhail Kasyanov's meetings in Spain. As far as bilateral relations go, an emphasis will be put on economic problems. The basic task in the two countries' economic relations is to switch from commodity and raw material supplies to investment and industrial cooperation, according to a source. The upcoming talks may also discuss Russia's debt to Spain and a possibility of converting it into investments, and of paying part of it by means of the supply of Russian goods and services to that country.

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