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MOSCOW, April 4 – PRIME. Russia and the Netherlands plan to sign 15 bilateral agreements on energy, industry and innovation during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Amsterdam on April 8.
The two countries will also discuss the financial problems of the eurozone and Cyprus, presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.
They will sign ministerial memorandums of cooperation in the areas of healthcare, higher education and science, and economic management training.
Several important contracts will be signed between the two countries’ companies, aimed at cooperation in the hi-tech sphere, research and design, oil and gas development and offshore projects.
According to Ushakov, the energy sector will be the focus of Putin’s talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “There is great potential for increasing supplies of Russian petroleum products,” he said. In 2012, Russia supplied the Netherlands with 27.7 million metric tons (203.6 million bbl), down from 43.7 million metric tons (321.2 million bbl) the year before. The Netherlands also annually imports over 4 billion cu m (141.2 billion cu f) of natural gas.
The two leaders will also focus on important economic issues. Ushakov said that bilateral trade between Russia and the Netherlands had risen by 20 percent to a record $82.7 billion last year. The Netherlands is Russia’s biggest export partner, with Russian exports there totaling $76.8 billion in 2012.
Putin and Rutte will also discuss the financial crisis in the eurozone and measures to revive the Cypriot economy. They will cover a range of current global issues, including relations with the EU, visa-free travel, North Korea, Syria and the Middle East. During the visit Putin is also due to meet with members of the business community of Russia and the Netherlands.
One of the priorities of Putin’s visit will be the launch of the official exchange year of Russia and the Netherlands. He will join Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in the opening ceremony of the Year of Russia in the Netherlands and the Year of the Netherlands in Russia. The program of this large-scale bilateral scheme includes over 350 cultural and economic projects.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.