On Tuesday official foreign ministry spokesman Aleksander Yakovenko stated in connection with the working visit to Helsinki of Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov that Russia and Finland already this year could sign an agreement on mutual promotion and protection of capital investments.
Yakovenko indicated that Finland was one of 10 largest foreign investors into the Russian economy and occupied the 9th place in the Russian trade turnover with foreign countries. In its turn Russia occupied the third place among Finnish trade partners. The volume of bilateral trade in 2002 amounted to 6.7 billion euros having increased by 0.5 billion in comparison with 2001.
The total Russian indebtedness to Finland as of September 2002 amounted to about USD 550 million. According to Yakovenko, the Paris club approved the idea of the so-called ecological conversion of the Russia's indebtedness to Finland, the amount of which was determined in September 2002 at the level of USD 43 million.
In January last year co-chairmen of the Russian-Finnish inter-governmental commission also signed a Memorandum on mutual understanding to agree terms and conditions of the settlement mechanism.