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Russia, Norway prime ministers to discuss bilateral cooperation

February 14, 2014, 1:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 14, 1:09 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will hold talks with his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg in Sochi on Friday.

The sides "will discuss matters of current importance concerning Russia-Norway relations, the state of and prospects for bilateral cooperation in the trade-and-economic, investment, energy, and humanitarian fields," the government press service reported.

Interaction in the fields of fisheries, environmental protection, and interreginal contacts will be also touched upon at the meeting.

Last year, Russia's Premier signed an agreement with the then Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on enlarging the 30-km visa-free border zone. The Premiers made a symbolic crossing of the Norwegian-Russian border and visited the automobile borde-crossing station Borisoglebsk -- the only land checkpoint on the border between the two countries. The two Heads of Government crossed the border without visas.

The Russian-Norwegian Agreement on visa-free travel by the residents of border territories (within 30 kilometres on both sides of the border) has been in effect since May 2012. The Agreement does not apply to the other Norwegians and Russians. Within a year, 250,000 Russians and Norwegians ride via the Borisoglebsk border-crossing station.

In his remarks at that time, Medvedev pointed out, "Contacts between people, between our citizens are a major theme. In this sense, a real breakthrough has been made as a matter of fact over the past 20 years: Norway and Russia took a respective step, signing in 2010 an agreement on facilitating travel by the residents of border territories. As a result, cross-border travel has gained in scope. Over the first five months of the curren year (2012), the number of people crossingtheborder has increased up to 120,000".

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