Source AP ©

Russian, Finnish PMs meet

Russian and Finnish premiers met Tuesday to discuss efforts to ease traffic jams at their border. They also hailed growing trade between the countries.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov and his Finnish counterpart, Matti Vanhanen, discussed cooperation in energy, forestry and the high-technology sector.

Zubkov said he and Vanhanen also discussed ways to improve operations at crossing points on the countries' 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) frontier, where long lines of trucks are regularly backed up.

Vanhanen said the problem was a result of increasing trade, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. He said the number of trucks crossing the border every year is approaching 1 million.

Zubkov said the volume of bilateral trade has more than tripled since 2000 and is expected to reach about EUR15 billion (US$22 billion) this year, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

The two also discussed a gas pipeline Russia wants to build under the Baltic Sea, plans for a high-speed railway linking Helsinki and St. Petersburg, and other issues, reports said.