Late on Thursday night Russian deputy prime minister Viktor Khristenko arrived in Madrid to hold negotiations on economic issues, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports. The main point on the agenda of the Russian vice-premier's stay in Madrid will be a meeting with Rodrigo Rato, the Second Vice-President of the Spanish government and Minister of Economy. Khristenko and Rato are co-chairmen of the Russo-Spanish intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation which last year resumed its work after a four-year halt and is actively operating now. Khristenko and Rato will consider issues of Russia's trade-economic cooperation with Spain and the European Union, which, from January 1, 2002, will be chaired by Spain for six months. On Friday Khristenko is expected to meet the leadership of the Supreme Council of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election