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UK foreign secretary to leave for Moscow Mon to discuss Syria, ABM

May 28, 2012, 1:39 UTC+3

British Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves for Moscow on Mondasy for a working visit

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LONDON, May 28 (Itar-Tass) —— British Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves for Moscow on Mondasy for a working visit. It is expected that during his talks with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, Mr. Hague will touch upon the entire spectrum of Russo-British relations, including prospects for a further development of the political dialogue, key aspects of trade-and-economic and investment interaction, and a step-up of inter-agency contacs. The state of affairs in visa arrangements is to be discussed as well.

When discussing international issues, the sides are planning to lay emphasis on the problems of the current situation in the Middle East and in the Arab world as a whole. The sides are also expected to have a substantive discussion on Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear programme, prospects for the development of equitable interaction on the architecture of a Europan anti-missile defence system, and other matters of current importance and mutual interest concerning world politics.

On Sunday Mr.Hague promised that when in Moscow he would try to convince the Russian side of the need to put pressure on Syrian authorities. He wrote in his microblog in Twitter that the British would urge Russia to support exerting rapid and definite influence on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and calling to account those guilty of committing crimes. Then he made a statement in which he pointed out that Syria's slipping down into a civil war is not in the interests of either Russia or anyone else.

Trade-and-economic and investment interaction remains one of the bearing structures of the entire spectrum of Russo-British relations. This interaction to a considerable extent detemrines the general positive vector of their development.

Britain is an important trade-and-economic partner of the Russian Federation (RF) and one of the main foregn investors into the Russian economy. In 2011, foreign trade turnover with Britain amounted to $21,200 million (a 33 percent increase as compared with that in 2010). Russianexport grew up to$14,000 million (a 23.7 percent rise) and import up to $7,200 million (growing by 56.9 percent).

British cumulative investments in the Russian economy in 2011 ran at $22,000 million (a 15 percent increase) and accounted for about seven percent of the overall amount of cumulative foreign investments in Russia.

Alexander Yakovenko, the Ambassador of the RF to the UK, pointed out in a talk with journalists that Russia and Britain Permanent Members of the UN Security Council bear special responsibility before the international community for the maintenance of international peace and security. He also made it clear that the very format of meetings between the Foreign ministers of the two countires is of exceptionally mutually regardful character has special meaning for Russo-British relations. Yakovenko said this is also indicative that the sides contemplate signing a Plan for Consutations between the Foreign Office and the of the UK and the Foreign Ministry of the RF.

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