MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev travels to Laos on Monday to attend the 9th summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ACEM). The visit to Vientiane will continue until November 6.
A government source told journalists that participants in the forum would discuss matters concerning financial-and-economic cooperation, interaction in social and cultural fields, and regional policies. The main subjects of discussion at ACEM summit include efforts to combat terrorisn and sea piracy; sustainable development, the overcoming of the consequences of the global financial downturn; reduction of poverty, and the migration issue.
As a result of the summit, the participants are to adopt an ACEM Chairman Statement and a Vientiane Declaration on Strengthening Partnership for Peace and Development. The document is to reflect coordinated positions on key matters aimed at ensuring global security, and set out a common vision of versatile interaction between Europe and Asia.
Besides, Medvedev is to meet with President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong. According to the government source, considerable attention is to be devoted to trade-and-economic and investment cooperation, specifically the promotion of Russian projects in the fields of railways, telecommunications, the mining of economic minerals, and hydropower engineering. The sides will also discuss the intention of Laos to purchase Russian airliners "Sukhoi Superjet".
The government source did not rule it out that the theme of a write-off of the state debt of Laos by Russia will be raised. He recalled that under an intergovernmental agreement, Russia wrote off 70 percent of the debt five years ago. At present, according to experts, it amounts to about $400 million. The Laotian side may raise the question of converting the debt into investment projects with Russia's participation, the source said.
The Russian Head of Government will be accompanied in the trip by Vice-Premier Arkady Dvorkovich, Sergei Prikhodko, First Deputy Chief of the Government Staff, Igor Morgulov, Deputy Foreign Minister, Federal Tourism Agency Director Alexander Radkov, Mikhail Pogosyan, president of the United Aircraftbuilding Corporation, and Pavel Borodin, vice-president of the VimpelCom mobile phone services provider.
At the close of the visit, the Head of Government will proceed on his way to Vietnam.