Russia's trade volume with foreign countries (not taking into account theCIS countries) amounted to $55.8bn in the first half of 2002, which was 1.1percent lower than in the corresponding period last year. Russian exportswere $39.9bn in the period from January to June 2002, which was a 7.4percent decrease, compared to the first half of 2001, and imports totaled$15.9bn, which was a 19 percent advance. In the first six months of 2002Russia's trade surplus amounted to $24bn, which was a $5.7bn retreat,compared to the corresponding period of last year, the State CustomsCommittee reported. .
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969