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LISBON, November 25. /TASS/. Portugal’s authorities consider Russia as a major partner for the European Union in various sectors, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said in an interview with TASS.
"As for relations between the European Union and Russia, we consider Russia as a key partner for the European Union," he said, adding he means not only cooperation in such spheres as trade, investments and "contacts between people but in the settlement of the most pressing global problems, such as countering terrorism, climate change or migration."
"For a long time, Portugal and Russia have been maintaining good and friendly relations based on our common cultural European ties," the Portuguese top diplomat noted. "I had good talks with my counterpart Sergey Lavrov in July in Moscow and in later September in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. I invited Minister Lavrov to visit Portugal to follow the plan of our consultations and he accepted my invitation." Currently, according to Santos Silva, work is underway "on a concrete date of this visit."
"We have a great number of bilateral agreements, both political and diplomatic. They embrace such areas as tourism, air transport, culture, education and health," he said. "An agreement on economic and technical cooperation, talks on which are nearing completion, will obviously serve as a useful instrument to promote and strengthen our exchanges."
"We are geared towards a working agreement that will be a major motivator to give a fresh impetus to our economic relations," the Portuguese minister underscored, adding he expects the talks to be over by the end of the current year.