Russia welcomes increasing trade and economic cooperation with Vietnam. On the eve of the coming official visit by the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee Secretary General, Nong Duk Manh, to Russia, scheduled for October 9-13th, "special attention is being paid to Russian-Vietnamese ties at all trade and economic levels", said the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative Alexander Yakovenko.
Vietnam is a traditional and promising partner of Russia, that is Vietnam's eighth largest investor with its total investment volume equalling about 1.5 billion dollars, the diplomat pointed out.
In the first six months of 2002 the mutual trade volume went up to 330 million dollars, a 40 percent increase year-on-year, Yakovenko stated.
Cooperation in oil sector remains the most crucial element of Russian-Vietnamese economic cooperation, the diplomat stressed. "However, we do not want to limit our cooperation to oil extracting, but intend to extend it in oil processing sphere," the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman pointed out. He believes it will be possible after the first oil processing plant, which is being constructed in the framework of the Russian-Vietnamese joint project "Vietsovpetro", has been set into operation.
Yakovenko also said that electric power engineering, agro-industrial complex, chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries as well as transport and communications were other prospective areas for economic cooperation. Inter-regional economic cooperation is becoming more detailed. The Intergovernmental Committee on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation is playing a major part to intensify Russian-Vietnamese economic ties, the diplomat concluded.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre