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MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and the Netherlands will build a logistical hub for oil and have cross-years of Russia in the Netherlands and of the Netherlands in Russia in 2013, according to the documents to be signed after talks between President Dmitry Medvedev and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday, October 20.
“An important result of summit will be the signing by Medvedev and Rutte of the Joint Statement on cross-years of Russia in the Netherlands and of the Netherlands in Russia in 2013. This is a large-scale project will cover the main areas of bilateral cooperation – politics, economy, education, science, and culture,” a Kremlin official told Itar-Tass.
Russia’s Summa Group and the Dutch port of Rotterdam will sign a general agreement for the construction and operation of an oil terminal. “This is an ‘open terminal’ project that will become a large European logistical hub for Urals crude. A competitive chain will be created for sea transportation of Russian oil by shuttle tankers to the floating oil pipeline,” the official said.
Rutte has come to Moscow at Medvedev’s invitation. They will have talks at the Kremlin on October 20. The Dutch prime minister will also meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and the governors of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
The Kremlin believes that “the current visit by the prime minister of the Netherlands is an important step towards deeper friendship between Russia and the Netherlands, and developed political dialogue that is traditionally has the nature of mutually advantageous partnership and lacks significant problems,” the official said.
Medvedev and Rutte will discuss the implementation of the 5th joint action programme for 2011-2013, paying special attention to pressing trade, economic and investment cooperation issues.
A delegation of top officials from leading Dutch companies is accompanying the prime minister on his trip to Russia. These include Shell, Gasunie, KLM, ING Group, Heineken.
Trade turnover between the two countries in 2010 was 58.4 billion U.S. dollars. In the first seven months of this year it grew by more than 15 percent to 37.7 billion U.S. dollars (third among Russia’s foreign trade partners and first in terms of Russian export to foreign countries). Accumulated Dutch investments in Russia stand at 43 billion U.S. dollars (13.6 percent of all foreign investments, second after Cyprus). Russian companies have invested 24.9 billion U.S. dollars in the Netherlands (26 percent of all investments abroad, first place among foreign countries).
According to the Kremlin, “considerable prospects for further deepening of interaction with the Netherlands lie in such sectors as healthcare, transport, banking, food and chemical industries, agriculture”.
“Energy partnership has traditionally been a key factor in our relations. Russia is the biggest oil supplier to the Netherlands. In 2010, export totalled 56.6 million tonnes of oil and 26.8 million tonnes of petroleum, products,” the official said.
“Interaction between Gazprom and Gasunie under the Nord Stream project is of particular importance. The pipeline will be solemnly launched shortly,” he added.
Cooperation between Gazprom and Project Delta Group is gaining momentum. They are engaged in joint projects in such fields as energy efficiency, designing of an underground gas storage facility, creation of a network of gas filling stations under the Blue Corridor project.
Gazprom works actively with Shell under the Sakhalin-2 project, in the development of the Salym fields in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, and participation in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.
“A meeting of the president of Russia and the prime minister of the Netherlands with leading Russian and Dutch entrepreneurs should emphasise the special role in trade and economic ties in bilateral relations,” the Kremlin official said.
He expects Medvedev and Rutte to exchange views on pressing international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, Euro-Atlantic security, interaction between Russia and the European Union, and coordination in international organisations.
At the 7th meeting of the Russian-Dutch Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation in The Hague in May of this year, the two sides signed the final protocol, a joint statement on partnership for modernisation, three memorandums of understanding in the fields of innovations and energy efficiency; on cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and renewable source of energy, and on cooperation in the field of port operations.
The commission is co-chaired by Russian First Vice Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov and Dutch Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovations Maxime Verhagen.
“We discussed joint work to implement bilateral and multilateral economic and investment projects, and made plans for boosting cooperation that has achieved impressive results. In 2010, bilateral trade turnover increased by 46 percent to 58.4 billion U.S. dollars. The upward trend continued in the first quarter of this year - trade turnover increased by 7.6 percent to 14.3 billion U.S. dollars,” Zuibkov said.
“The Netherlands continues to hold leading positions in terms of investments in the Russian economy. In 2002-2010, they increased more than tenfold and exceeded 10 billion U.S. dollars,” he said, adding, “There is the strong potential for boosting and expanding our cooperation” primarily in the energy sector.
“The experience of joint implementation of such major projects as Nord Stream and the world's biggest LNG plant in Sakhalin can be extended to joint development of oil and gas fields in Yamal and the Kara Sea. Dutch specialists's resource and energy efficiency experience can be used in infrastructure development projects and has already been utilised by Russian companies,” Zubkov said.
In his opinion, the memorandums signed in The Hague will facilitate this cooperation. “Priority will be given to intensification of partnership in the field of innovations” and “the implementation of the joint statement on partnership for modernisation will give a significant stimulus for further progress in this respect”, Zubkov said.
Among priority areas of cooperation he named oil and gas production, transportation and processing technologies, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources, information technologies and telecommunications.
“We attach special significance to the development of cooperation in the field of healthcare” and “one of its conference results is the design and production of a 16-slice tomography scanner in Russia”, Zubkov said.
A special working group within the commission will seek to enhance cooperation in the development and production of high-tech medical equipment.
Zubkov believes that the possibilities of the Skolkovo innovation centre can also be used for the benefit of these and other joint projects. “We also have the experience of working with Dutch specialists in designing waterworks and upgrading infrastructure in the Russian cities that will host the FIFA World Cup in 2018,” he said.
“I think we have set a good pace. It will allow us to implement in full the fifth joint action programme between Russia and the Netherlands in 2011-2013 that was signed in March,” Zubkov said.