Norwegian prime minister to discuss economic and energy cooperation in Moscow

Economic and energy cooperation were expected to top the agenda Monday for Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who was in Moscow on a three-day working visit that was to include talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and meetings with Norwegian business representatives.

The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted the Norwegian Embassy as saying that officials would sign an agreement on a US$1 million (€819,000) Norwegian donation for construction of a boarding school in Beslan, the southern Russian town targeted in a hostage-taking last September than cost some 330 victims' lives.

Bondevik and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Fradkov were to discuss ways of boosting their nations' trade turnover, which reached a record US$1.67 billion last year according to Russia's Foreign Ministry.

They were also to discuss cooperation in the Arctic. Russia and Norway "have a common understanding of the particular importance of cooperation in the North, where our countries share a border, and are interested in taming resources and jointly standing against modern challenges and threats, particularly in the area of nature protection," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko as saying.

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