Total turnover between Russia and Turkmenistan made up $433.3 mln in 2002 while in 2000 it was $1 bln 238 mln.
The Turkmen Embassy in Moscow said that such a slump in the turnover was caused by a halt in cooperation between Gazprom and Turkmen gas extractors and oil refineries.
Issues concerning closer trade and economic cooperation between the countries will be discussed during Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov's routine visit to Moscow scheduled for April 10-11.
In particular, the parties plan to sign an intergovernmental agreement on strategic partnership in gas industry for the next 25 years. The agreement envisages both sale of Turkmen gas to Russia and joint development of new Turkmen gas fields including ones on the Caspian shelf as well as cooperation in hi-tech for gas prospecting and extraction.
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