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Economic relations will be the key issue on the agenda of the Russian-US summit in Bratislava on February 24
Economic relations will be the key issue on the agenda of the Russian-US summit in Bratislava on February 24, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti. "Bilateral economic relations are the priority item on the agenda. Both sides understand the necessity to boost our cooperation in this sphere, to expand business contacts in the energy and hi-tech fields and to ensure stable growth of investments," Mr. Yakovenko said. In his words, "not bad reserves in the Russian-US energy dialogue" were created in the previous years, and currently the prime task is to decide "what mutually advantageous projects it is necessary to promote at the top level." The diplomat stressed that the sides would also discuss Russia's accession the World Trade Organization with due account for the current negotiations with the United States. Mr. Yakovenko also said that on Saturday Russian Foreign Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would discuss in Ankara preparations for the Russian-US summit. According to Mr. Yakovenko, it is the first contact of the heads of the two countries' foreign policy departments after the appointment of Condoleezza Rice to the post of US Secretary of State. Mr. Lavrov and Dr. Rice will discuss the guidelines of bilateral interaction and the key international problems, as well as the problems of antiterrorist cooperation in the context of joint struggle against the new challenges and threats, Alexander Yakovenko noted. "We highly assess the firm position of the US leadership who is ready to stand with us in our common war against terror, as US president George Bush said, shoulder to shoulder," the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.
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