The opening ceremony of a joint plant for assembling Volvo vehicles will be held in the town of Zelenograd (near Moscow) on March 20. This was announced yesterday at a press conference entitled 'Russia - Sweden: prospects for cooperation' by Swedish Ambassador Henrik Hirdman.
In reply to a question from Rosbalt's correspondent, the ambassador said that the factory is intended to produce 500 lorries a year, although it will only start to work at full capacity after a year to a year and a half. In 2003 it is planned that the Russian-Swedish plant will learn assembly procedures and will produce only 200-300 lorries. Hirdman said that all parts will initially be supplied from Sweden, although in the future the plant will partially move over to Russian-made parts.
Speaking about trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the ambassador said that the priority at the moment is implementing joint projects in the North-West region of Russia. A joint factory producing Skania buses is currently operating successfully in St. Petersburg. Hirdman also said that a new water-treatment plant is currently being built in the Kaliningrad Region with EBRD funding (the cost of the project is about USD 12-15 million). An agreement has been signed for a project to modernise the south-eastern water-treatment plant in St. Petersburg. In addition, noted the ambassador, programmes are being developed on collaboration in healthcare, in particular to prevent and treat tuberculosis and AIDS.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded