The third annual session of the Sakhalin-Hokkaido consultative commission for development of the two regions' economic and cultural cooperation has completed in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The parties mainly discussed cooperation in tenders for developing infrastructure of international oil and gas projects in Sakhalin. Both parties stated that Japan's capital occupied the first place in the foreign trade turnover of the Sakhalin Region. At the same time, participants in the session think that the rate of economic cooperation is lagging behind that in the cultural sphere. The agreement about friendship and economic cooperation between the Sakhalin Region and the Hokkaido Prefecture was signed in November 1998. According to the participants in the meeting, due to the activities of the Sakhalin-Hokkaido commission, cooperation has been intensified in coastal trade, fishery, setting up joint food-producing enterprises, along with exchange of views on small and medium business development. At the past meeting the Russian side offered to the Hokkaido delegation over 100 investment projects in various spheres of the Sakhalin Region's economy.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea