MOSCOW, October 31 (Itar-Tass) - The Prime Ministers of Russia and Finland, Dmitry Medvedev and Jyrki Katainen, are to hold talks here on Thursday. An RF government staff member told Itar-Tass that Medvedev and Katainen would discuss the most important matters concerning cooperation between the two countries and that, however, "fundamental to Russia is the question of establishing a mechanism for bilateral interaction to uphold the rights of children in conflict situations in Russian-speaking and mixed-parentage families living in Finland".
The government staff member recalled that work is now under way "to establish an effective Russo-Finnish expert dialogue in this respect". He pointed out that in 2012, the Russian and Finnish sides exchanged lists of representatives at the competent agencies and services of the two countries for making "direct prompt contacts on family and legal matters". The first meeting of such experts was held in Moscow on June 11, this year. In October, the dialogue between Russian and Finnish experts was continued within the scope of two seminars on family law matters of current importance. The seminars were organized by the Justice Ministries of the two countries and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.
During Thursday's talks the two Premiers will also discuss economic and investment cooperation. In this connection, the government staff member emphasized that "Finland is Russia'is important partner in the cause of modernization of the Russian economy". At present, large-scale investment projects are being already implemented, including the construction from scratch of a state district power station (GRES) (with a rated power of 1,254 megawatts) by the Finnish energy company, the Fortum Corporation, in the city of Nyagan of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. A ceremony officially to energize the first power unit of the Nyagan GRES was held on September 24, this year, and was attended by the presidents of the two countries. "This power station, which uses the newest equipment that is notable for a high efficiency, reliability and environmental compaatibility has become the world's largest thermal power plant operating in latitudes to the north of the 62nd degree," the government staff member said.
"Finland is Russia's priority partner. Russo-Finnish goodneighbourliness is traditionally characterized by an intensive political dialogue, a substantial reciprocal trade turnover, investment activity, and wide inter-regional cooperation," the government staff member pointed out.
Trade-and-economic ties form a solid foundation for interaction. Russia ranks first among Finland's trading partners (in the aggregate volume of Finnish foreign trade, Russia's share in 2012 was 14.1 percent).
The Russo-Finnihs trade value last year was $17 billion, with Russia's export to Finland running at $12 billion and import from Finland amounting to $5 billion. In the first eight months of this year, trade turnover grew by 13.1 percent as compared with that in the corresponding period of last year to runa t $12.4 billion. Russia's export to Finland in the January-August period was $8.9 billion and import from Finland ran at $3.6 billion.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister of Finland is also expected to attend the 2nd Moscow international forum on innovative development, the "Open Innovations".