Energy, Cyprus among issues to be raised during Putin's Netherlands visit
During his visit, Putin and Dutch Queen Beatrix will ceremonially open the Russia Year in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Year in Russia, events that would comprise more than 350 cultural and economic projects.
Putin will also hold "full-scale negotiations" with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Putin's aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.
"As of this moment, there are 15 documents lined up for signature," Ushakov said, adding that they included governmental memorandums and commercial agreements.
Putin and Rutte will raise energy issues, the aide said, describing energy as potentially one of the most fruitful cooperation fields. "There is a great potential for boosting supplies of oil products. As regards volumes of oil products, Russia is significantly ahead of countries such as Saudi Arabia or Norway," Ushakov said.
Russia annually exports more than 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the Netherlands. It provided the Western European country with 43.7 million tonnes of crude oil and oil products in 2011 and 27.7 million tonnes in 2012.
"There will be a business lunch in the context of business cooperation with Holland. Putin and Rutte will meet with members of Russian and Dutch business circles," Ushakov said.
In 2012, Russian-Dutch trade reached a record $82.7 billion.
"The Netherlands is Russia's number one trading partner in Europe and its number two trading partner worldwide," the aide said.
Issues of innovative technology and agriculture will also be raised.
"Putin and Rutte are expected to discuss international issues as well. There will be an exchange of opinions on relations with the EU, including the visa abolition dialogue. The issue of surmounting the financial crisis in the Eurozone and measures for the economic recovery of Cyprus will also be raised," Ushakov said.
He said Putin and Rutte might also bring up the crisis in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will consider the entire range of cooperation issues, from cultural cooperation to interaction in political and economic problems, when paying a brief visit to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, later today in the wake of his visit to Hanover, Germany.
The basic objective of Putin’s visit to Amsterdam is the attendance, together with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, of a ceremony to open the Year of Russia in the Netherlands and the Year of the Netherlands in Russia.
The Russian leader will, besides, have talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to take up the international agenda, exchange views on promoting relations with the European Union, including a dialogue on a visa-free travel.
The two leaders will also consider ways to settle the financial crisis in the Eurozone.
At the Hanover trade fair (Hannover Messe) in Germany, President Vladimir Putin said that last year's trade turnover between Russia and Germany exceeded 74 billion dollars. The two states are capable of reaching a maximum of 100 billion dollars turnover, Putin stated at the official opening ceremony in Hanover today.
"European partners will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of the Eurasian integration. These are 165 million consumers," Vladimir Putin said.
Speaking at the ceremony to open this year’s Hanover Fair on Sunday night, he also called on Germany to join forces with Russia in battling the crisis and urged German companies to invest in the Russian economy, as resisted economic crisis trends and continues to grow.
The Russian leader also called attention to the fact that in 2012 the World Bank moved Russia from position 120 to position 112 in its annual league table of business-friendly economies.
The Russian Economy expanded by 3.4% last year, and Russia’s unemployment rate was at just 5.5%
On Monday, Putin and Merkel will visit the Russian Pavilion of Hannover Messe and give a press conference later in the day.
The Russian delegation at the five-day fair includes Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov. The delegation also comprises the heads of Russia’s largest companies.
Russia’s participation in Germany's annual industrial fair as the main partner country is a key event on the bilateral program of the Year of Russia in Germany and Year of Germany in Russia in 2012-2013. Putin’s visit is expected to promote Russian businesses and regions among strategic investors in Germany and Europe in general.
The Russian leader will fly to the Netherlands later on Monday for a one-day visit, during which he is expected to take part in the Year of Russia opening ceremony and sign bilateral agreements on energy, industry and innovation.
Russia’s exposition at the Hanover Fair demonstrates its openness to economic cooperation with Germany and other countries.
President Vladimir Putin spoke about this Sunday at the ceremony to open the Hannover Fair.
He said the Russian exposition shows the present day of the Russian industry and science and also charts their future.
President Vladimir Putin has called on Germany to join forces with Russia in battling the crisis and urged German companies to invest in the Russian economy, as it bucks the crisis trend and continues to grow.
Speaking at the ceremony to open this year’s Hanover Fair on Sunday night, he called attention to the fact that in 2012 the World Bank moved Russia from position 120 to position 112 in its annual league table of business-friendly economies.
"We have to do our job to improve the visa regime. We will go forward, but perhaps not as quickly as Russia would like," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the opening of the Hanover Industrial Fair.
Speaking about economic cooperation, Merkel noted that Russia has an impressive wealth of raw materials and oil and gas and stated that "Germany is ready to assist in their development."
Merkel also brought up the topic of NGOs which have been widely discussed in recent days.
She expressed the view that non-governmental organizations should have a chance to develop in Russia.
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