The Russian-Lebanese intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation will soon resume its work, Igor Ivanov, Russia's Foreign Minister, told journalists after the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri held in the Kremlin. According to Ivanov, the sides expressed their intention to strengthen political and trade and economic relations. They noted "good prospects" for their development. The growth of commodity turnover between the two countries increased last year by 50 percent. However, the growth still does not correspond to both countries' potentials, the Russian President and Lebanese Premier believe. With this in view, the meeting stressed the need to step up efforts to develop trade and economic relations, including through the resumption of work of the Russian-Lebanese intergovernmental commission. According to Ivanov, Mr. Hariri emphasised that Lebanon was interested in "being Russia's important partner."