MOSCOW, November 14 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will spend his Wednesday's workday in Helsinki. He travels to Finland in order to meet with his Finnish counterpart, Jurkki Katainen and Finnish Presidnet Sauli Niiniste and attend a Foretsry Forum.
A Russian government source told Itar-Tass in this connection, "Russo-Finnish relations are of versatile character". For the past three years, the Russian Federation (RF) has been ranking first among Finland's trading partners, with bilateral trade turnover in 2011 running at $18.9 billion.
"Over the past decade, bilateral goods turnover has grown five-fold while the cumulative direct Finnish investments in the Russian economy increased several-fold, with a considerable part of them being channeled into the production sector," the RF government source emphasized.
Moscow analysts regard Finland as an important partner in promoting Russian economic modenization projects. A research and development center of the Finnish Nokia Company has opened at the Skolkovo innovations center.
Allegro express trains, tickets for which are in a high demand, have been plying between St Petersburg and Helsinki for almost two years, RF government analysts point out. In Marh this year, the Russian Transmachholding and the Finnish Vartsila began to build a plant in the city of Penza for the production of diesel engines. Joint investments in the project amount to about 2,000 million roubles. The new enterprise is to start turning out engines in summer 2013.
Besides, in 2010, the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation acquired 50 percent of the shares of the Helsinki Shipyard and in conjunction with the "S.T. X Finland" Company establlished a jointly-run company ArcTech Helsinki Shipyard" Two orders have been already placed with the company to build three Arctic class ships with an aggregate cost of over $250 million. On June 30, the Helsinki Shipyard launched the first multifunctional vessel to deliver supllies to offshore platforms.
The joint work of the RF and Finland is coordinated by the intergovernmental commission, a regular session of which is to be held in March 2013 in the Finnish city of Turku, the Cabinet official said.
It is planned that on Wednesday the Prime Ministers of the two countries will attend the 4th Russo-Finnish Forestry Forum. Such conferences are needed to coordinate long-term approaches to the development of the forestry sectors of the two countries, and work out mutually beneficial solutions which are intended to promote progressive practical interaction between Russia and Finland in this sphere.
Russian government analysts also recalled two important Russo-Finnish documents. A new Treaty on lease by Finland of the Russian part of the Saimensky (Saimaa) Canal and the territory adjacent to it and on navigation through the Canal took effect in February. "The Treaty which extends for 50 years the period of lease of the Russian territory to the foreign country reaffirms the continuity and durability of goodneighbourlyl relations, and a high degree of trust between our two countries," Moscow analysts believe. The other document mentioned is an intergovernmental Agreement on the promotion of cross-border cooperation. It entered into force in June this year.