Malaysian PM visits Russia

Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has arrived in Moscow to discuss trade, energy security, and military co-operation with senior Russian officials. A business forum will also take place as part of the visit.

The main goal is to expand bilateral ties between the two countries. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin and will also hold talks with Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Later on, he is expected to visit St. Petersburg and to give a lecture on inter-religious co-operation in a mosque.

Space exploration is also the key issue to discuss, with preparations underway in Russia for the first Malaysian astronaut to fly to the International Space Station in October.

It is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's first visit as Prime Minister and Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to Russia, but he has already met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of international conferences before.

As for the economic ties between the two countries, bilateral trade has almost doubled over the past four years. Malaysia supplies Russia with electric and electronic devises and furniture. Another thing that interests Malaysia in Russia is oil. Talks later in the day are also expected to focus on exports of Russian fighter jets to Malaysia.