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  Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Global anti-terrorism efforts will be at the focus of attention during talks between the Spanish premier and the Russian leader
Global anti-terrorism efforts, energy security and work within international organizations will be at the focus of attention during talks between the Spanish premier and the Russian leader, a senior Russian diplomat said Monday in the run-up to a two-day visit to Madrid to be made by the president. Mikhail Kamynin, the Foreign Ministry's official spokesman, said the international community's anti-terrorism efforts occupied "an important place" in the dialogue between the countries, both of which have suffered at the hands of terrorists. Almost 200 people were killed in March 2004 when bombers thought to be linked with extremist Islamic groups attacked commuter trains in the Spanish capital, whereas Moscow has repeatedly been targeted by terrorists since the re-introduction of federal troops to quell disorder in Chechnya in 1999. With Vladimir Putin due in Madrid February 8-9 for talks with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Kamynin also said that energy security was also a crucial issue. Russia is the European Union's leading energy supplier, but concerns were raised recently after shortfalls of Russian natural gas were reported at end destinations during a dispute with Ukraine. Energy giant Gazprom said Friday that Ukraine has siphoned 550 cubic meters of gas bound for Europe across its territory in January alone. Kamynin also highlighted cooperation between Russia and Spain within international organizations, including the EU and NATO. In particular, the spokesman said Spain would hold the rotating chair of the world's biggest security organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in 2007. Russia, which is a member of the organization, has been consistently pushing for reform of the 55-nation group, including with regard to its decision-making and international regulations. Kamynin also said considerable attention in bilateral relations was devoted to acute regional problems, above all the situation in the Middle East, in the Balkans, and Iraq, and Iran's controversial nuclear programs.
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