Medvedev to discuss crisis during Swiss visit

21st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Medvedev will discuss the economic crisis and the G20 with Swiss President Merz during his visit Monday.

Geneva -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to discuss the economic crisis, bilateral issues and the reform of the G20 with his Swiss counterpart when he makes a state visit to Switzerland Monday, said a Swiss government spokeswoman.

Medvedev is scheduled to meet Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz Monday when they will also discuss "security policies in Europe in reference to Switzerland's mandate as a mediator between Russia and Georgia," said the spokeswoman.

Bern represents the interests of the two countries in their respective capitals.

During the first state visit of a Russian President to Switzerland, the heads of state will also symbolically launch negotiations for a double taxation treaty.

Medvedev is then expected to visit central Switzerland on Tuesday.

For Merz, the visit is "a sign of the good relationships that our two states have enjoyed since the end of the Cold War."

"As a country that is neither member of the EU and NATO, Russia is an important contact for our country," he said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

He also highlighted the growing economic importance of Russia to Switzerland, noting that some 600 Swiss companies are involved in the Russian market.

Russian imports are valued at about CHF 1 billion (EUR 650 million, USD 971 million) a year while exports are at CHF 3 billion.

"The economic relations are growing in volume and it is necessary to reinforce them," he added.

To mark the visit, Medvedev has also given two orphaned bear cubs to the Swiss capital Bern, which is named after the German word for bear.

AFP / Expatica

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