Russia and Iran have potential to increase bilateral trade – minister

Russian-Iranian trade exceeded $1.7 billion in 2018, but the two countries have the potential to increase this indicator, Russian Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Sergei Chebotarev said on Sunday, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

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Russian-Cuban commission to hold session in Moscow on June 4

The Russian-Cuban inter-governmental commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation will hold a session in Moscow on Tuesday. The commission’s co-chairs Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas will discuss issues of cooperation in the spheres of energy and modernization of Cuba’s railway infrastructure.

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Cooperation with Russia should be developed despite sanctions — Bulgarian president

It is important to develop economic cooperation with Russia despite sanctions and counter-sanctions, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said in an interview with TASS ahead of his visit to Russia’s Northern capital to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

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Japanese and Russian tourist organizations sign agreement on cooperation

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and the Russian Union of Tourism Industry signed an agreement on cooperation in Tokyo on Tuesday which stipulates the organization in the next two years of joint events for developing tourism and increasing tourism flows between the two countries, TASS reported from the site.

“Thanks to this agreement we will be able to better explore the Russian market, which, in turn, will lead to the development of tourism exchanges between our countries, as well as friendship and cooperation. We will exert every effort to reach the set goal to increase the tourism flow from Russia to 200,000 people by 2023,” JNTO President Satoshi Seino said at the signing ceremony.

President of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry Sergei Shpilko reiterated, for his part, that today Japan is implementing the plan to increase the number of trips of Japanese tourists to Russia. “We are working with many countries, but none of them has a specific plan of sending tourists to Russia, so we are obliged for our part to do all that is possible to implement this plan,” Shpilko added.

In January 2017, Japan’s authorities eased the regime of issuing visas to Russian citizens in compliance with the agreement dedicated to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in December 2016. As a result, the number of tourists from Russia who visited Japan increased by 40.8% in 2017 when compared to 2016 and stood at more than 77,000 people. The number of Japanese tourists in Russia exceeded 100,000 in the same time frame.

In October last year the Japanese side also introduced a new easy visa regime for Russian tourists who visit the country within organized groups under package tours. In 2018, the number of Russian tourists who entered Japan grew by 22.7% and stood at 94,800, while 120,000 Japanese citizens visited Russia in the same time frame. After a meeting with Putin in January, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that Japan and Russia intend to double the joint tourism flow by 2023, up to 400,000 people.

Austria, OMV have no plans to quit Nord Stream 2 project, says President

Vienna and the Austrian oil and gas company OMV have no plans to quit the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen told a press conference following the talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday.

“Austria and particularly the oil and gas company OMV have no plans to quit the Nord Stream 2 project,” he said.

To defend against the US pressure placed in relation to the Nord Stream 2 project Austria does not need weapons, all that is needed is political will, Putin told a press conference following the talks.

“Austria is not the biggest country in the world, but to defend national interests neither nuclear weapons nor territory are needed. It’s just the political will that is required,” Putin said.

According to him, the companies working on the American market cannot but take this into account. “What’s here to hide, the dependency on the US dollar and cooperation is big in the modern world, but this is a sovereign decision of the country or a company of our partner,” he clarified. “As we are aware, the OMV company is willing to work with us in the future as well in spite of such an attempt to impose such an unjust competition.”

The Russian President underlined that he believes other companies also realize their responsibility towards the economies of their countries. He added that the political choice of the partners will influence or affect the price for energy for end consumers. “Russia is ready to implement this project until the end. I believe we will see it to its logical finish,” Putin said.

The President emotionally emphasized that “it is easier to work with Turks than with Europeans,” talking about the TurkStream project. “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan made the decision and implemented it, while there are 27 countries here to negotiate with, we’ve been harping on the same string for years and nothing is happening,” Putin lamented. Nevertheless, he pointed out that the European Union is the Russian biggest trading partner, the trade volumes are approaching the $300 billion mark and, therefore, the lively interest in realizing such large-scale projects, which correspond to the interests of the whole Europe, will prevail.

The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year, running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea. The 9.5 bln euro project is expected to start operations before late 2019. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and the Britis-Dutch Shell.

Medvedev sees huge potential in expansion of EAEU members cooperation with third countries

Free trade zone agreements between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, which comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) and Singapore, Israel, India will be signed soon, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Tuesday, adding that a total of 100 countries are interested in expanding cooperation with the Union.

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Vietnamese PM hails upwards dynamics in relations with Russia

The free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union of 2016 has helped Vietnam to boost its trade with Russia, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in an interview with TASS on Monday ahead of his official visit to Moscow due on May 20-23. Read More