Russian and Swiss Foreign Ministers to meet in Moscow Monday

Negotiations between Igor Ivanov and Joseph Deiss, Foreign Ministers of Russia and Switzerland, will be held in Moscow on Monday. RIA Novosti learned from Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, that the ministers intend to discuss the prospects of the two countries' cooperation in settling regional conflicts and topical problems of international politics.

Yakovenko said that the ministers will study the possibility for Russia and Switzerland to further cooperate in international affairs in view of Switzerland becoming member of the UN in September. In the opinion of Moscow and Geneva, there are no contradictions and acute problems in the relations between the two countries, which are developing positively now.

In 2001 trade between our countries totalled 2.8 billion dollars. Switzerland ranks 9th among the investor-countries working on the Russian market. More than 600 enterprises with the participation of Swiss capital and 230 representations of Swiss companies are registered in Russia.

Russia considers the technical and financial assistance rendered by Switzerland as a positive factor. Within its framework Switzerland will allocate over 97 million Swiss francs in 2001-2006. This money will be used for the development of small and medium-size businesses, ecology, nuclear security, and encouragement of Swiss investments in Russia.

Switzerland is the only country with which Russia has an agreement on technical and financial cooperation. The two countries are developing cooperation between their law-enforcement bodies and security services struggling against terrorism, illegal migration, money laundering, drug trafficking and other types of organized crime.

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