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MOSCOW, October 29 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin and his Ecuadorian counterpart, Rafael Correa, who is making an official visit to Russia, are due to have talks Tuesday where they will look at the main areas of bilateral cooperation and particularly at trade and cultural/humanitarian relations.
The two sides will exchange opinions on pressing international and regional problemsand a range of documents will be signed upon the completion of the talks, the Kremlin press service said.
The last time Rafael Correa visited Moscow was in October 2009, when he made the first-ever official visit to Russia in the history of Russian-Ecuadorian relations.
Ecuador is one of Russia’s leading trade partners in South America. Recent years have seen a steady growth of bilateral trade, which reached a record high level of $ 1.3 billion in 2012.
The encouraging dynamics remained unchallenged in 2013, too. The trade turnover is dominated by Russia’s imports of agricultural products from Ecuador - flowers, fishery produce and fruit.
Russian exports to Ecuador consist of mineral fertilizers, automobile spare parts, and rolled metal.
At present, the most intensive development of collaboration can be seen in the energy sector. For instance, Russian companies are taking part in the construction of Toachi-Pilaton hydroelectric project, the overall cost of which exceeds $ 1 billion.
A delegation of the Russian natural gas producer, OAO Gazprom, visited Ecuador for the first time in October 2012. The sides signed a memorandum of understanding on scrutinizing the potential of the Amistad gas deposit.
Gazprom International, a subsidiary of the Russian gas giant is awaiting proposals from the Ecuadorian authorities on a possible engagement in hydrocarbon production projects on the country’s continental shelf.
A large project codenamed Ecubex was implemented in March 2010 with the two countries launching a trans-Atlantic line from the port of Guayaquil to the Panama Canal to Rotterdam to Bremerhaven to St Petersburg, which became the first transoceanic cargo route between Russia and Latin America.
Other promising areas for cooperation are high technologies, tourism and modernization of railways.
In 1997, Russia and Ecuador launched programs of cultural and scientific exchanges. A Mikhail Lomonosov school conducting the instruction process in the Russian language was opened in Quito in 1999.
Upon completion of the general education course in that school, young people can continue education at Russian universities, as the Russian government annually allots grants for Ecuadorian students and postgraduates.
Studies of the Russian language are promoted by a specialized center that was opened at the University of Guayaquil in 2011 and the Russian school at Equinoccial Technological University.