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28 Sep, 2007 23:31

Russia and Spain agree on most international issues

Bilateral relations alongside international matters were discussed by the Russian President and Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Zapatero, during the latter’s visit to Sochi. Russia and Spain, according to both leaders, share the same point of view on mo

Trade and economic relations were among the topics discussed. Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries has increased by 46% in the last year, but both leaders are certain there is still room for growth.

Mr Putin also commented on Russia's position in response to questions raised at the UN General Assembly, such as the future of Kosovo and Russia's refusal to extradite Andrey Lugovoy to Britain.

Both men also spoke about the worsening situation in Myanmar. They agreed that the international community needs to monitor the situation very closely, but the leaders believe it is still too early to draw conclusions or introduce sanctions.

Vladimir Putin also expressed hope that relations between Russia and various European countries will be as strong and reliable as those between Moscow and Madrid. This comment came as the Russian President stressed once again that his country cannot comply with demands for the extradition of Andrey Lugovoy. Britain has charged Lugovoy with the murder of former Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London last year.

“Mr Lugovoy is a Russian citizen. As we have said several times, if we are given any evidence of  illegal activity, the Russian law enforcement system will certainly take the decision to bring anyone to justice. Unfortunately the demands from our British partners to extradite Lugovoy are not supported by any documents that prove that he has committed any illegal actions. There is the demand to extradite him based only on suspicion – but no proof,” said the Russian President.

The Spanish Prime Minister did not comment directly on the ongoing dispute between Moscow and London.

From bilateral ties to international problems, Madrid and Moscow seem to share not only many common projects and goals, but political viewpoints as well. Both the Russian President and the Spanish Prime Minister seemed very satisfied not only with the course of their talks, but with the development of their countries’ relationship. The frank discussion of various international issues is further evidence that Russia and Spain are generally in agreement politically.