Russia firmly comes out for strengthening Bosnia and Herzegovina as an integral multiethnic state, Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov told a press conference in Moscow when negotiations with his Bosnian counterpart were over. "We are ready to further support the leaders of that country in their efforts to build a democratic state free from all manifestations of ethnic and religious extremism," Ivanov stressed. According to him, Moscow believes that the policy of the government, headed by Zlatko Lagumdzija, is aimed at creating a common economic space, solving social and economic problems in the country and laying down a good basis for the normal functioning of the state. Ivanov pointed out that the aim of the efforts being exerted by Russia and the international community is to create conditions for Bosnia to independently ensure stable, democratic, social and cultural development of the country and its integration into Europe. According to Ivanov, the ministers, in addition to the problems of Bosnian settlement and stabilisation of the situation in the Balkans as a whole, discussed in detail the development of bilateral trade and economic relations. The Russian foreign minister also pointed to the need of developing mutually advantageous cooperation between the two countries on the basis of market principles. "This is the way we will work," Ivanov said pointing to the interest of the two countries in cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres. "This meets the interests of both states and contributes to strengthening stability in the Balkans," Ivanov concluded.
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