On June 11, in Yekaterinburg, the joint workgroup of the government of the region and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Czechia convened for the second time. According to the press service of the Ministry of International and External Economic Connections of the Sverdlovsk Region, the two parties agreed on holding a number of joint events and taking a number of measures in order to further mutual connections.
These events and measures include an exhibition-fair to present Czech goods in the Sverdlovsk Region, the creation of timber and food joint ventures, and the participation of Czech companies in the modernisation of existing and the creation of new facilities for the processing of household waste in the Sverdlovsk Region. Discussed were supplies to the Urals of Czech medicines, for instance, insulin. Talks are underway between the Czech Pragoimex company and the Uraltransmash plant concerning the modernisation of tramcars. An exhibition of Russian companies is expected to take place in Prague later this year. The next time the joint workgroup is supposed to meet in Prague in 2003.
According to Yuri Osintsev, the Minister of International and External Economic Connections of the Sverdlovsk Region, 'The recent opening of a Czech consulate in the region will positively affect trade relations with Czechia and allow to develop our cooperation'. The minister believes that cooperation in the production of machinery and metallurgy may be the most promising.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign