Russian-Spanish talks focus on financial co-operation

Spain and Russia have agreed to increase financial co-operation between the two countries following talks in Moscow. Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister and acting President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE

The discussions will be followed by a visit to Russia by the Spanish Prime Minister, which is scheduled for late September.

Talks were set to focus on the reform of the OSCE, but Miguel Angel Moratinos was also expected to offer assistance to Russia in the ongoing airspace dispute with Georgia. Meanwhile, after two hours of talks, both Foreign Ministers held a press conference, during which not a single word about the ongoing dispute between Russia and Georgia was uttered.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister

The two sides discussed a wide range of bilateral political, cultural, trade and economic co-operation. The two also discussed security issues affecting Europe, the status of Kosovo and the situation in the Middle East.

Mr Moratinos also said that the OSCE is planning to monitor the Russian State Duma elections that will take place in December.

Another reason for Mr Moratinos’ visit to Moscow was to lay the foundations for the OSCE meeting that will take place in Madrid.

Sergey Lavrov asked Moratinos to consider Kazakhstan as the next head of the OSCE, starting in 2009.

Russia has been pushing the OSCE to reform some of its policies and operations.

“I am very much in favour of the Russian request because I think that the main reason for this proposal is that Russia needs an organisation that is updated to 21st century challenges. We agree with that. The question is how we will implement these new policies of the OSCE. The OSCE is anorganisation with 56 members, and it is not always easy to get 56 members agree on a proposal, but we are moving forward,” Mr Moratinos said.